Mary Earps named 2023 Sports Personality of the Year

Manchester United and England goalkeeper Mary Earps has been named 2023’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

2022’s prize went to fellow Lioness Beth Mead and now Earps has followed suit after 12 months which saw her win the hearts of fans both on and off the pitch.

“First of all, I’m so humbled to be on a list of such incredible athletes,” said Earps. “Sport is a fantastic thing where it brings the world together and it’s been brilliant to listen to everyone’s stories, so congratulations to you all.

“Thanks for voting for me everyone! I’m very honoured and humbled, as this is the ultimate all round sporting accolade. We’ve had an incredible couple of years but this is just wow.

“It’s not been the easiest journey and I wouldn’t be here without my loved ones in my corner, who have been with me through the really not so great times.

“The last two years have been unbelievable, I’ve done more than I could have ever imagined. Thank you to my goalkeeping coaches, my teammates and my coaches.”

Mary EarpsMary Earps

Earps impressed on the pitch / Gareth Copley/GettyImages

The stopper excelled on England’s journey to the World Cup final, famously saving a penalty from Jenni Hermoso in the final and going viral for her expletive-laden celebrations, but perhaps her biggest impact came before the tournament when she challenged Nike over its failure to produce replica goalkeeper jerseys for fans to buy.

The shirts were not made available until October, at which point they sold out within hours, while a second batch that hit shelves in December lasted just five minutes before all stock was sold.

Earps’ performances on the pitch earned her England Women’s Player of the Year award earlier this year and she also secured fifth place in the 2023 Ballon d’Or Feminin – the highest placement for a goalkeeper in the award’s history.

“I’m going to try this Christmas to reflect on it all,” she told the BBC of her whirlwind few years. “It’s been an incredible couple of years so I feel grateful to be given the opportunity to fulfil my wildest dreams. I can’t believe I’m standing up here and I did that walk in this dress and these heels.”

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