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

On Tuesday evening, she became the third woman in three years to win the award, succeeding national teammate Beth Mead.

The last time such a sequence occurred in the competition was in the 1960s, when it was won by Anita Lonsbrough, Dorothy Hyman, and Mary Rand respectively.

In her acceptance speech, Earps said: ”The last two years have been absolutely unbelievable.

”I’ve done more than I could ever imagine, and for that I’m truly and incredibly grateful.”

After being dropped from the Lionesses’ side in 2019, Earps admitted she considered early international retirement but has since made a remarkable career turn around.

She is now a European champion, World Cup finalist, and one of three finalists nominated to be the Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper again after winning it last year.

She has also been successful off the pitch in the last twelve months, as she has spoken out against sportswear brand Nike’s decision not to sell her goalkeeper jersey for the FIFA Women’s World Cup earlier this year.

Unlike those of her other teammates, it meant that Earps’ fans were not able to support the Nottingham-born goalkeeper by purchasing her No.1 shirt for the tournament.

Recognised for her resilience despite the numerous setbacks she has faced, she described the award as ‘the ultimate all-round sporting accolade.’


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By Emilie Mwanza

Founder of Beyond The 90. Trainee multimedia journalist based in Preston.