Gemma Craig (Sapphire Elia) 2006-2007
First Regular Appearance: 10.6 (#393) Trust
Last Regular Appearance: 10.32 (#419) The Final Whistle Part Two
Duration: EP: 393 - 419 ½ SE: 10.6 – 10.32
Position: Student / Manager’s Daughter / Coma(!)
Last Seen: Finding her injured father being tended to by paramedics, and lied to by Amy whose boyfriend was responsible.
Gemma was born to parents Rachel and Jimmy Craig in the summer of 1989, while her father was playing his first stint with Sheffield Wednesday. The family were settled together in the north until Gemma was five, and Jimmy began his succession of moving to clubs around the country. Rather than follow him around, Rachel took Gemma to live in London, and as she grew up Jimmy was absent for much of the year which continued after he'd retired from playing and become a coach.
A studious girl who loves to party, Gemma celebrated completing her first year of A-Levels with friends in Turkey. However they returned without her when Gemma stayed behind to wed her holiday love Izmet! With Jimmy switching from Leeds to Harchester during this time, Gemma brought her new husband to meet him at his new job, hoping she'd get a better reaction than from her mother. Jimmy punches Izmet and Rachel sees to it that he takes money in return for annulling the marriage. With a strained relationship with her mother, Gemma stays in Harchester with Jimmy.
Soon Gemma is a distraction to the newly single Liam Mackay. When she gets into trouble with an irate Rangers' fan and an unlicensed taxi, she calls on Liam the night before a UEFA Cup Tie. Gemma develops feelings for Liam, but he thinks it will damage his player/manager relationship with Jimmy so rejects her after a kiss at the HUFC Christmas party. An upset Gemma starts her dad's car and loses control, running over Liam's foot and collides with scaffolding in front of her. While at first she seems just bruised, things take a turn for the worse and Gemma collapses into a coma, where all Jimmy, Rachel and Liam can do is sit by her bedside.
After six weeks, Gemma wakes up but has no memory to her parents' despair. Liam sticks by Gemma and takes her to the places where she caused the most drama for him, which allows their relationship to blossom. Danny Sullivan in the form of Dragonslayer discovers Gemma and Liam's secret, and uses it to boost Jimmy's paranoia until Liam is forced to reveal all. In order to keep things smooth until the club's Title win is secured, Liam puts things with Gemma on hold. She is deeply hurt that Liam has chosen football over her, and tells Liam he and her dad deserve each other, before returning to London to live with her mom.
After some time away, Gemma returns for the final day of the season having forgiven Jimmy, and it appears she is prepared to give things with Liam another go. During the game however, Dragonslayer Danny chooses his moment to attack Jimmy, leaving him with a head injury. A shocked Gemma goes to be by his side, and is deceived by Amy that she doesn't know how Jimmy came to be injured.