England Goalkeeper Mary Earps Wins BBC Sports Personality

England and Manchester United goalkeeper Mary Earps has been crowned the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2023. At 30 years old, Earps emerged as the public’s top choice, surpassing cricket star Stuart Broad and world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson in the vote.

Mary Earps Wins BBC Sports Personality

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This is the second consecutive year for a women’s footballer to claim the prestigious BBC award, following the Arsenal forward Beth Mead in 2022.

Expressing her gratitude Earps stated, “I’m trying to be a game-changer. I’m trying to change the world in whatever small time that I’m here. I enjoy the responsibility of being a role model; I try to inspire as many people as possible young, old, whatever.”

Dropped from the Lionesses in 2019, Earps contemplated international retirement. However, she used the setback as an opportunity for personal development, stating, “I think what I’ve learned over the last couple of years is you’ve got to show a lot of resilience in life, a lot of character.”

The turning point in Earps’s career came with her recall to the national team under the management of Sarina Wiegman in September 2021.

Since then, Earps has reclaimed her position but has become a standout player for the Lionesses. Her performances during the World Cup in Australia, where England reached their first-ever final.

Earps was awarded the Golden Glove for being the best goalkeeper of the tournament, conceding only four goals and making crucial saves, including a penalty stop in the final against Spain.

Describing her mission as the Merps mission, she expressed her desire to make goalkeeping cool. Her commitment to challenging stereotypes and reshaping perceptions about the goalkeeper’s role in football.

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Her dedication to this mission is evident in her efforts to engage with fans and challenge sports brands, such as Nike, to recognize and promote women’s goalkeeping.

The goalkeeper’s popularity soared when Nike initially refused to sell her England replica goalkeeper shirt. However, Earps’s persistence and the support from fans led to a reversal of Nike’s decision, and the shirts quickly sold out.

Winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year is particularly for Mary Earps as it transcends the boundaries of football.

She said, “It’s not just about what I’ve achieved in football; it’s something bigger than that, and that’s really humbling and grounding.”

The award is a moment as Mary Earps becomes the third successive female winner of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, following Emma Raducanu in 2021 and Beth Mead in 2022.

Mary Earps’s achievement received recognition from the Prince of Wales, who is also the president of the Football Association.

Prince William sent a congratulatory message on social media, stating, “Hugely well deserved, Mary. Congratulations! W.”

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The awards ceremony also saw Manchester City’s men’s team achieving a treble. Following their victory in the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League, City was named Team of the Year.

Star striker Erling Haaland received the World Sport Star award, while manager Pep Guardiola was named Coach of the Year.

The Young Sports Personality of the Year award went to Mia Brookes, a 16-year-old snowboarder. Brookes made history by becoming the youngest snowboarding world champion, showcasing her talent and determination.

Her achievements, including completing a 1440-degree rotation jump and winning titles in slopestyle and the Snowboard World Cup.

She was named the Fifa Best Women’s Goalkeeper and voted England Women’s Player of the Year for 2022-23. Additionally, she secured the fifth position in the voting for the prestigious Ballon d’Or award.

Mary Earps took a moment to express gratitude. “I am going to try this Christmas to get some time to reflect and think about it all,” she said. “It has been an incredible couple of years, and I just feel really, really grateful to have been given an opportunity to fulfill my wildest dreams. It is beyond anything I could have ever imagined.”

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