Mary Earps, the Manchester United and England goalkeeper, acknowledges that her 2023 wasn’t without challenges and difficulties.
In 2023, Mary Earps, the England goalkeeper, achieved remarkable success. She won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, becoming the second women’s footballer to do so after Beth Mead.
Earps played a crucial role in England reaching their first World Cup final since 1966. Additionally, her outstanding performance with Manchester United contributed to their second-place finish in the 2022-23 WSL, conceding just 12 goals in 22 matches—the best defensive record in the league.
Despite her successes, Earps acknowledged facing challenges in 2023 and emphasized the discrepancy between social media highlights and real-life experiences. In an Instagram post recapping her best moments, she shared:
Mary Earps: It’s not been all sunshine and rainbows
“2023, you’ve been magic. I could never have imagined half of the things that have come my way this year in my wildest dreams. There will never be another year like it. But I need to say, none of it is possible without my teammates, I owe them so much and hopefully I can repay them in the years to come.
“I have to be honest. It’s not been all sunshine and rainbows, though it might seem that way from the highlight reels of social media. Social media isn’t real life. But you can’t have flowers without a little rain and I know I’m so blessed. I’m so incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful people who inspire me and guide me every day. This year I’ve learnt more about myself than probably any other year, it’s been filled with joy, tears and everything in between – but most of all gratitude and learning. 2024, I’m ready for you 💫 Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2024!”
In addition to SPOTY, Earps secured the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year, Sportswoman of the Year at the British Sports Journalism Awards, and England Women’s Player of the Year. She ranked fifth in the Ballon d’Or voting and earned acclaim for influencing Nike, the Lionesses’ shirt manufacturer, to reverse their decision on selling replica Women’s World Cup goalkeeper jerseys.
Earps is presently on winter break and is set to resume action on January 14. It will be in an FA Women’s Cup fourth-round match against Newcastle United. Following that, she will face defending champions Chelsea in a highly anticipated WSL clash on January 21.