England defender and Leeds Beckett University graduate Lucy Bronze has won the 2018/19 UEFA Women’s Player of the Year award.
The 27-year-old, who has been with French club Lyon since 2017, was England’s star performer at the Women’s World Cup earlier this year when she won the Silver Ball as the tournament’s second-best player.
The former Sunderland, Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City full-back also scored one of the goals of the tournament in England’s 3-0 quarter-final win against Norway.
Bronze finished ahead of Lyon team-mates Ada Hegerberg and Amandine Henry to win the accolade, and paid tribute to her colleagues at both club and international level.
She said: “I’m ecstatic and super humbled to have won the award up against two fantastic players who I know really well at Lyon: two great girls, great players.
“I want to say huge thanks to the Lionesses, the England team. We had a great summer and I don’t think I would have won this award if it wasn’t for them.
“The same goes for the Lyon team. We had an amazing season, we won the treble. I think any one of those girls could have been up here receiving this award.”
Bronze graduated from Leeds Beckett University in 2013, where she studied BSc (Hons) Sports Studies, and was a key member of the university’s women’s football team.
Leeds Beckett University’s director of sport Sally Nickson said: “I am delighted that Lucy’s talent has been recognised on the world stage. She was a player who showed potential and promise whilst playing at Leeds Beckett.
“Lucy’s hard work and success with Lyon and the Lionesses this season has been inspirational.
"She has been at the forefront of a successful period for the Lionesses and has come a long way since graduating from Leeds Beckett University.