Rylee Foster has sent a special ‘thank you’ to Liverpool supporters as it was confirmed she will leave the club at the end of June upon the expiration of her contract.
Foster, 24, joined LFC Women in January 2020 but her progress was abruptly halted in October 2021 when she was involved in a serious car accident while travelling as a passenger in Finland.
The Canadian goalkeeper suffered significant injuries, the most serious of which were seven fractures in her neck.
On her return to Liverpool she was placed into an immobilising ‘halo’ at the Walton Centre to prevent sudden movement which could have resulted in catastrophic damage.
A long period of rehabilitation began, with the West Virginia University graduate still coming to games to support the team while building up a special rapport with fans who were backing her battle to get back to play again.
Foster told Liverpoolfc.com: “Not many people get to witness how powerful our fanbase can really be in traumatic experiences.
“Fortunately, I’ve had this experience to see what Liverpool fans are all about and I’ve always been one of them. But, to say thank you is not enough for what the fans have done for me, the support they have given me since day one, from the moment I stepped in here in January 2020.
“When the accident happened the fans absolutely had my back and it’s just the messages I get every single day, the words of wisdom, their support from the side of the field.
“Everything like that has helped me get where I am today and it’s never been ignored. So, for me personally it’s just a big thank you to the Liverpool fanbase - the women and men’s sides because we are one team.
“I will be back sometime, whether that’s in the stands with you guys and hopefully I’ll be back in the future wearing the shirt. But it’s not goodbye for ever.
“I’m just so thankful for all the support you guys have given to me, especially since I broke my neck in that car accident, because I know that was just as hard for you guys as it was for myself.”
Foster also thanked the club medical staff who have helped her in her recovery over the last 19 months.
“If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be where I am now so I want to thank them for all their time and efforts,” she said.
Although a proud Canadian, Foster’s grandparents grew up in the Wavertree district of Liverpool and it was always her dream to play for the club.
She stated: “I’ve always been a massive Liverpool fan since the day I could really speak and know what Liverpool was.
“To be able to come here, walk into Anfield and see us play, to wear the shirt and play against Manchester United in a big match, to play against Everton and feel the emotion that I got to watch as a kid, it’s just an absolute honour.
“I’m sad I didn’t get to show more. I know there was a lot of expectation, and I felt the pressure at times, but I’m honoured to have represented this club and represented my family.”
Foster recently had a further operation on her shoulder from injuries sustained in the crash and remains determined to reignite her career once her injuries have fully healed.
“The shoulder surgery kind of came out of the blue. My aspirations are to be back on the pitch and still do what I love to do,” she said.
“I’m very hopeful that whatever the next journey is I’ll be back on the pitch at some point healthy and fit.”
Everyone at Liverpool FC wishes Rylee the very best of luck in her future career.