Mary Earps wins Lionesses Player of the Year award
It was never going to be anyone else, was it?
England Women’s and Manchester United keeper Mary Earps has won the Lionesses Player of the Year award following her incredible showing at the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
The Lionesses‘ heroic number one, who produced one of the most unforgettable moments in British sport with her penalty save in the World Cup final this past August, has been magnificent throughout the season and so it was little surprise the supporters voted her the winner of this year’s award.
With a Golden Glove in the World Cup to her name already, not to mention a FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper of the Year award earlier this year for her efforts in the previous season and the Lionesses’ magnificent Euros win, she’s had a 12 months full of accolades.
Defenders Lucy Bronze and Alex Greenwood came in second and third, respectively, and team captain Millie Bright had the honour of surprising her with this one.
Representing her country 16 times in the last year, the 30-year-old shot-stopper has been a brick wall at the back for Sarina Wiegman’s side more often than not, even managing to keep three clean sheets at the World Cup — no small feat.
As Bright said when handing her the award, “I could not be prouder to present this to you. You deserve it more than anyone. Honestly, you’ve carried the cart, pulled out some unbelievable saves when we’ve needed you the most and that, for me, is what the ultimate teammate does and the ultimate pro [does]”.
Aside from her performances on the pitch as well, Earps became an emblem for fans of the women’s game and equality in sport, in general, with the whole country rallying behind her following the Nike goalkeeper kit controversy.
After refusing to sell the shirts of female goalies throughout the tournament, the Man United keeper called the company out for essentially telling little girls who dreamed up growing up to be footballers that the position doesn’t matter as much as others. Following a huge uproar in the UK and beyond, they finally caved and saw sense.
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Capped 41 times in total, Earps is named in the Lionesses’ Nations League squad as they prepare to take on Scotland this Friday before a trip to Utrecht to play the Netherlands on Tuesday, 26 September.
Whilst we’re here, we’ll take any excuse to relive this moment that will forever be embedded in the nation’s memory.
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Featured Image — Mary Earps (via Instagram)