Man Utd goalkeeper Mary Earps wins BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year award

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The keeper played a huge part in England’s journey to the World Cup Final earlier this year

Manchester United and England goalkeeper Mary Earps has been named as the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year. Earps was instrumental in England’s World Cup run, winning the Golden Glove at the tournament and saving a penalty in the final against Spain. 

Earps had a record breaking season in 2022-23, keeping 14 clean sheets as Utd achieved their highest ever WSL finish. She also came in fifth place at the 2023 Ballon D’Or, and the BBC award caps off a memorable year. 

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She has become the first goalkeeper to win the award, and she beat players including Spain’s Aitana Bonmati and her England teammate Sam Kerr to the accolade. The keeper has played in every one of Utd’s seven WSL games so far this season. 

The goalkeeper also made a significant impact off the pitch. When kit manufacturers Nike said they would not produce replicas of her England shirt to buy during the World Cup, Earps led criticism to the point where Nike reversed the decision and produced the shirt. 

Speaking to the BBC after winning the award, Earps said: "There has been a lot that has happened this year. Obviously, we've had the World Cup. We've had everything that's gone on with the goalkeeper shirts. I've had the whole goalkeeper union behind me, it seemed like. Not even just that, just incredible support from the public and many people.

Lioness goalkeeper Mary Earps will finally see her shirt on sale after Nike backtracked on their decision to not carry the kit amid much public criticism. (Credit: Getty Images)Lioness goalkeeper Mary Earps will finally see her shirt on sale after Nike backtracked on their decision to not carry the kit amid much public criticism. (Credit: Getty Images)
Lioness goalkeeper Mary Earps will finally see her shirt on sale after Nike backtracked on their decision to not carry the kit amid much public criticism. (Credit: Getty Images) | Getty Images

"Last year was an incredible season for United. I think it's been an incredible year, an incredible couple of years. I'm just trying to make the most of everything really."

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Earps’ England coach Sarina Weigman sent a congratulatory message to her. She said: "Hi Mary, here I go again. I can congratulate you again with the award for women's world footballer of the year. Congratulations, but you're not done yet. You have to keep going - get some more. Enjoy this award."

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