Earps named BBC Women's Footballer of the Year

Tuesday 28 November 2023 09:52

Manchester United's Mary Earps has won the BBC Women's Footballer of the Year award, becoming the first goalkeeper to do so.

It is Mary's latest recognition for an outstanding year in the colours of club and country. Our no.27 ended the 2022/23 campaign with an all-time record number of WSL clean sheets, as United finished second, and went on to also win the Golden Glove prize at the FIFA Women's World Cup after helping England to reach the final.

Earps received the most votes from fans voting on a five-player shortlist - selected by an expert panel - via the BBC Sport website, and was presented with the trophy at Carrington by United Women captain Katie Zelem.

Our goalkeeper pipped Barcelona and Spain midfielder Aitana Bonmati to the accolade, while Chelsea forward Sam Kerr came third in the poll. Bonmati's Barca team-mate Fridolina Rolfo and Wolfsburg's Alexandra Popp were also nominated.

Earps receives BBC prize Video

Earps receives BBC prize

A brilliant moment: Katie Zelem presents Mary Earps with the BBC Women's Footballer of the Year trophy at Carrington...

Speaking to the BBC upon receiving the trophy, Earps said: "It's super special. Thank you very much to everyone who voted for me.

"I am truly honoured. To be the first keeper to get their hands on the award is special and I am incredibly grateful.

"I think it's been an incredible year, an incredible couple of years. I'm just trying to make the most of everything really."

After presenting the award in front of the United squad, Earps's Reds and Lionesses team-mate Zelem also spoke to the BBC, sharing the delight she has for her good friend's success.

"We know Mary's qualities, we've seen them with England and here at Manchester United," the midfielder explained.

"She kept so many clean sheets last year and got the record which everyone, especially Mary, was so proud of.

"She's a really deserving recipient of the award." 

Five Reds in the Lionesses' squad


Four members of Marc Skinners' team, plus one Red currently out on loan, will represent England.

Mary also received special messages of congratulations from her international boss Sarina Wiegman, Lionesses record cap holder Fara Williams and United legend Peter Schmeichel.

The latter opened his video by explaining how satisfying it is to see a fellow goalkeeper win such an award.

"Hi Mary, it's Peter Schmeichel here. What a great achievement, Women's Footballer of the Year," the Great Dane began.

"It doesn't happen very often to goalkeepers, winning Player of the Year. It's always the girls and guys scoring the goals, not the ones who prevent them.

"You are making our club Manchester United so very proud."

We'll second that sentiment. Congratulations, Mary, on your latest award!