England and Manchester United’s No.1 goalkeeper, Mary Earps, made history as the inaugural BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year award recipient.
On Tuesday morning, the BBC declared Mary Earps as the recipient of their yearly award, acknowledging the 30-year-old for her accomplishments throughout the 2022-23 season. Earps played a pivotal role in Manchester United’s second-place finish in the WSL and was instrumental in the Lionesses’ journey to the World Cup final, where they ultimately succumbed to a 1-0 defeat against Spain.
After a panel of football experts compiled a five-player shortlist, fans cast their votes on the BBC Sport website, selecting Mary Earps as the recipient of the award. Earps secured the top position, surpassing the 2023 Ballon d’Or winner Aitana Bonmati, while Chelsea and Australia forward Sam Kerr claimed the third spot.
Earps told BBC Sport: “I am truly honoured. To be the first keeper to get their hands on the award is special and I am incredibly grateful.”
Earps won WSL second place with Man United and reached WC final with England
Recently, Earps garnered attention by publicly criticizing Nike, the Lionesses’ kit manufacturer, for not producing replicas of her No.1 shirt for World Cup supporters. Despite finishing fifth in the 2023 Ballon d’Or vote, the United star has expressed humility in the face of the support she received during a tumultuous year.
Furthermore, Earps added: “To be honest, I thought Bonmati might take it and I mean, what a player. 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. 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.”
Currently on international duty with England, Mary Earps is gearing up for two crucial Nations League fixtures in the first week of December. Wiegman’s side will face the Netherlands on Friday, followed by a match against Scotland four days later, striving to secure a top-two group finish.
Following the international break, Earps will return to WSL action with United, facing Tottenham on December 10.