Birthdate: 19 March 1982
Birthplace: Armadale, Australia
Other clubs: Middlesbrough (1999-2010), Shelbourne (loan 2001), Stockport County (loan 2002-03), Rotherham United (loan 2003), Blackpool (loan 2003 + 2004-05), Sheffield Wednesday (loan 2006), Derby County (loan 2011)
Bought from: Middlesbrough
Signed for LFC: £2.3m, 18.08.2010
International debut: 05.02.2007 vs. Denmark
International caps: 3/0 (1/0 at LFC) - 05.01.2011
Liverpool debut: 22.09.2010
Last appearance: 28.10.2014
Contract expiry: Signed 13.12.2012
Win ratio: 56.52% W: 13 D: 4 L: 6
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 2 / 0
LFC league games/goals: 8 / 0
Total LFC games/goals: 23 / 0
With adequate if relatively inexperienced back-up to Pepe Reina in the form of Diego Cavalieri and Peter Gulacsi, it was perhaps something of a surprise when Liverpool made a move for Middlesbrough’s Brad Jones in the opening week of the 2010/11 Premier League season. Jones knew when he signed for Liverpool that only injury, suspension and the occasional cup match would see him being named in his new club’s first team from the start. Bradley Jones was born in Armadale, a city close to Perth in Western Australia but his mother was actually from Maghull on Merseyside so he had connections with Liverpool right from the start. As a teenager he played for a couple of years in Australia before joining Middlesbrough’s youth set-up and subsequently being offered a professional contract on his seventeenth birthday in March 1999. But it would be five long years before he made his senior debut in goal for the club from Teesside, although he did receive a winners’ medal as an unused substitute to compatriot Mark Schwarzer in the 2004 League Cup final when Boro defeated Bolton Wanderers 2-1.
Schwarzer’s reliability, fitness and consistency meant that Jones’ first-team opportunities were limited. This resulted in four loan spells with English Football League clubs, as well as one in the Republic of Ireland. But when Schwarzer joined Fulham at the end of the 2007/08 season, Jones found himself in the spotlight. He was though unable to prevent Middlesbrough’s relegation to the Championship in 2009, nor help them back into the top division a year later. At international level Jones was first called up by his country to replace Schwarzer in a friendly match in February 2007 with his first senior start coming against Uruguay in the middle of the same year. He was named as one of three goalkeepers in Australia’s 23-man squad for South Africa but withdrew as his young son had been diagnosed with cancer.
It was no surprise that Jones only played twice for Liverpool's first team during the whole of the 2010/11 season, against Northampton Town in the League Cup at Anfield in September and against Utrecht in December when the club had already qualified for the knock-out stage of the Europa League. On 24 March 2011 Jones moved to Derby County in an 'emergency loan' deal during which he featured seven times. But four of those seven matches were lost and Jones conceded sixteen goals. Jones passed his thirtieth birthday during the 2011/12 season but was still third-choice behind Pepe Reina, 29 as the season closed, and Alexander Doni, who was slightly his senior. Tragically, about halfway through the season, Jones lost his five-year-old son Luca to cancer. Jones was propelled unexpectedly into the spotlight at Ewood Park at Blackburn only a few days after his partner, Dani, had given birth to another son, Nico. Jones had to come on when Doni was sent off after conceding a penalty. Jones saved Yakubu's penalty and immediately thrust his arms skywards in a gesture that everyone watching understood completely. As Jones himself put it: "Luca is with me every day. His picture is in my wash-bag, his toys are in my travel-bag. I take him everywhere. In that sense, I’ve definitely got someone watching over me. It was nice to save the penalty as it has been a difficult time with losing my son. Maybe he gave me that good fortune." Jones kept goal splendidly as Liverpool beat Everton 2-1 in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. That was his last first-team appearance of the season. As a sign of his progress Jones signed a new long-term contract in December 2012. Brendan Rodgers was very pleased with the custodian: "Brad, who was a No 3 or No 4 keeper here, has really kicked on since the summer and in the games he has played since the summer, showed he is very loyal and supportive No 2."
Jones is a lifelong Liverpool supporter: "There were two things I said when I was eight years old; one was that I was going to play for Australia, which I have, and the other was playing for Liverpool." After making only four first-team appearances in the previous two seasons, Jones made fifteen starts in 2012/13 but never seriously threatened Pepe Reina as the club's first-choice goalkeeper. Jones was very much an understudy in 2013/14 as well, making just three first-team appearances in the FA Cup-ties against Oldham, Bournemouth and Arsenal. With Simon Mignolet establishing himself in the first team, it is hard to see the pattern changing for the popular Australian any time soon.