Liverpool FC Women confirm return of Gemma Bonner
Liverpool FC Women are delighted to confirm the signing of Gemma Bonner.
The 31-year-old defender returns to the club for a second time after a spell in the USA with Racing Louisville FC, subject to international clearance and formal approvals.
Bonner captained the Reds, then known as Liverpool FC Ladies, to two Women’s Super League titles in 2013 and 2014 during a hugely successful six-year stay before her departure in 2018.
She subsequently lifted two Women’s FA Cups and two Continental League Cups at Manchester City, then took on the challenge of joining expansion club Louisville in the National Women’s Soccer League in 2021.
A Women’s Cup success was achieved in her first season and Bonner was appointed captain in her second, but now returns to the Reds to be reunited with former manager Matt Beard.
The centre-back’s tally of 115 appearances for LFC Women remains the second-highest of the professional era, behind only Ashley Hodson.
“It was too good an opportunity to pass up to bring Gemma back to the football club,” said LFC Women boss Beard. “We had a great working relationship before and she will bring leadership and experience to the team.
“She’s won everything in England with Liverpool and Man City and has now experienced America to broaden her horizons and open her eyes to different football cultures. It just feels like she’s coming home.”
Bonner’s CV also includes playing with England at all levels from U17 to U23 and she has 11 full caps for the Lionesses.
“It’s a pretty special moment for me. I still pinch myself when I’m coming into Anfield,” she said. “I’m super-excited to be back and I can’t wait to pull the shirt on again and get out there with the girls – and get back playing for Liverpool.
“I was here for quite a while before, it was a hard decision to leave but I think I always knew within myself that one day I would love to come back to Liverpool. Now the time feels right.
“The team have started the season really well, obviously had a successful season last year getting back into the top league. They’ve got good foundations and are definitely building. Hopefully I can come in and contribute to the continued progression.”
Bonner considers winning those consecutive league titles with the Reds as among the finest moments in a stellar career.
“One of the proudest things I’ve done is lifting those trophies, especially back-to-back,” she said. “I have some incredible memories from my time here previously.
“Growing up as a Liverpool fan it probably means that little bit more. Seeing my shirt today with the name on the back again was almost a little emotional.
“The vibe feels good, it feels right to come back, and most importantly hopefully I can show on the pitch and bring something to the team.”
Now, Bonner is looking forward to linking up with manager Beard again, as well as the LFC Women supporters who have always backed her.
“I know the connection between the players and the fans is a huge part of this club, it’s special and for me it’s quite unique,” said the No.23.
“I’ve worked with Matt so many times before, he’s so experienced in the women’s game and hopefully we can work well together. He knows me as a player and I know him and how we work together.
“He knows he wants to be successful at Liverpool and that’s the expectation at this club. I know I want to push and keep driving the team to keep on improving and get back to where we were.”
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