Graham Westley says Graham Alexander's late equaliser was meant to be as Preston recovered to secure a 2-2 draw with champions Charlton.
Alexander, 40, announced in the build-up to North End's last home game of the season that he would be calling it quits, with Westley drafting him into his matchday squad and hoping for a fairytale ending.
And that is exactly what he got as the veteran curled home a free-kick seven minutes after coming on as a substitute. Deepdale paid an emotional goodbye to the former Burnley midfielder and Westley claimed Alexander fully deserved the tribute.
"You simply couldn't make that up, could you? That was sensational. I am so, so pleased for Graham," said Westley. "If ever there was a man who deserved a moment like that it's him, isn't it? It was the most incredible moment and everyone in the whole ground was just so pleased for the man.
"He thought he had about two-and-a-half minutes in his legs, so when I put him on for six it was a bit of a shock to him.
"But what I simply couldn't believe is that he got given a yellow card for going into the crowd (following the goal). How anyone could have the stupidity to do that? Oh dear."