Mary Earps ‘feels sick’ as she reacts to winning Sports Personality of the Year

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Written By Maya Cantina

Mary Earps was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year – two years after admitting she nearly quit football.

An emotional England and Manchester United goalkeeper Earps beat former England cricketer Stuart Broad, who came second, and athlete Kataria Johnson-Thompson, who finished third. Earps, who found herself in international exile in 2019, saw her England career revived with a call-up from Lionesses coach Sarina Wiegman in 2021.

The 30-year-old won the Golden Glove at this year’s Women’s World Cup, with England coming up just short, losing 1-0 to Spain in the final in Sydney. Receiving her award at the ceremony in Salford, Earps said: “I feel a bit sick actually! I’m humbled to be on a list of incredible athletes.

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“It’s not been the easiest journey and I wouldn’t be where I am today without such incredible people in my corner. In 2019, after the World Cup, that was the last time I played for England. I stayed out of the England team for quite some time. All these happy memories of the game that I loved didn’t make any sense anymore.

“It felt like I had lost my purpose in life. If Sarina hadn’t called me up, I never expected to play for England again. There was a time in my life where I thought I would never put on an England shirt again and suddenly I am representing my country at a World Cup. I just feel so grateful that I was able to play for my country on the world stage and enjoy it as much as I did.”

Earps has one million followers on her TikTok account and admitted they would be demanding content from her after her latest success.






Mary Earps is the second Lioness to win the award in any many years
Mary Earps is the second Lioness to win the award in any many years
(
PA)

“The TikTok followers give me a hard time if I haven’t posted within three hours,” said Earps. “They will be expecting content tonight. It’s so important. What I have learned over the last few years, you have to show a lot of resilience in life and character, it’s never easier.

“We all go through hard times in whatever walk of life we are in. Football is a vehicle and we can all change the world in some small way. That’s what I am trying to do.”

Earps became the third woman in a row to win the prestigious accolade, after her England team-mate Beth Mead last year and Emma Raducanu in 2021. succession. Earps, nicknamed ‘Mary Queen of Stops’, conceded just four goals, kept three clean sheets and saved a penalty in the final.

On the eve of the tournament, Earps revealed Nike had refused to sell replicas of her England shirt, which sparked a campaign for the sportswear giant to change its position.






The goalkeeper shone for England during their World Cup campaign
The goalkeeper shone for England during their World Cup campaign
(
The FA via Getty Images)

When Nike did release a limited number of replica jerseys a month later, they sold out within hours, with a further batch last week going within five minutes, underlining her huge popularity. Stuart Broad finished second with Katarina Johnson-Thompson coming third.

Europe’s Ryder Cup hero Rory McIlroy was nominated for the award but was the only one of the six nominees not to give an interview, either live at the ceremony or via video link. BBC declined to comment on McIlroy’s failure to do an interview for the programme.

Treble winners Manchester City were named Team of the Year, with coach Pep Guardiola Coach of the Year, while last season’s 52-goal hero Erling Haaland was awarded the World Sport Star of the Year.

Guardiola said: “It’s so prestigious. This incredible Treble was the hard work of all the players and was for all of us and especially our fans.” Liverpool and Scotland legend Sir Kenny Dalglish was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award.

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