How Earps inspired world football with her speech
When Mary Earps accepted her Best Women's Goalkeeper award at FIFA’s The Best ceremony in Paris, she moved the footballing world.
The United keeper has spoken openly in the past about how she almost quit football several years ago, before her career took off in an incredible way.
Now, Earps is a European Championship winner with England, an immovable presence at United and officially the world's best female goalkeeper.
At a FIFA ceremony on Monday night, Mary collected her award with grace and thanked those who have supported her throughout her career so far.
While standing on the podium, our inspirational goalkeeper delivered an emotional message to those who may have struggled with their mental health and it prompted a massive reaction.
“Thank you to everyone who voted for me. I feel really honoured to be holding this really heavy trophy," she began. "I just want to say thank you so much to my loved ones who have picked me up off the kitchen floor to be here today - not specifically tonight, but a few years ago.
“Thank you so much to all of my team-mates, without them this wouldn't be possible. The coaching staff at Man United and England, but particularly Ian Willcock and Darren Ward, who I'm pretty sure deserve a trophy of their own for putting up with me every single day, because that isn't easy.
“Sarina [Wiegman], I run out of words to say thanks to you for the opportunity you have given me to chase my wildest dreams and for believing in me the way you have.
"This is for anyone who has ever been in a dark place, just know that there's light at the end of the tunnel. Keep going, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
"Sometimes success looks like this, collecting trophies, sometimes it's just waking up and putting one step in front of the other. There's only one of you in the world, and that's more than good enough. Be unapologetically yourself.
"Thank you everyone.”
Such was the impact of her speech, Earps has been showered with support.
Director of the Manchester United Academy, Nick Cox tweeted:
“Now that is an acceptance speech!
‘There is only one of you in the world, and that’s more than good enough. Be unapologetically yourself.’
Congratulations Mary Earps - Best in the World.”
Now that is an acceptance speech !— Nick Cox (@Coxy3012) February 28, 2023
‘There is only one of you in the world, and that’s more than good enough. Be unapologetically yourself’.
Congratulations Mary Earps - Best in the World. #mufc pic.twitter.com/HSClzr0NgF
BBC Sport’s Emma Sanders also shared her praised for our goalkeeper:
“I could not be happier for Mary Earps. What an incredible journey she has had and she is getting well deserved recognition for a stunning year. She’s officially the best goalkeeper in the world, a European champion and one of the best people you could ever meet.”
I could not be happier for Mary Earps. What an incredible journey she has had and she is getting well deserved recognition for a stunning year. She’s officially the best goalkeeper in the world, a European champion and one of the best people you could ever meet. 👏🏻— Emma Sanders (@em_sandy) February 27, 2023
In addition, support from our fans poured in for the Euro 2022 winner.
“I haven't stopped watching this and I don't think I ever will,” wrote one user. “Mary Earps, you're amazing.”
Another supporter said: “I take my daughter to watch Women's football and she looks up to such women like Mary Earps who has been named the Best Women's Goalkeeper for 2022!
The last 30 seconds of her speech are from the heart and things like this mean a lot and are inspiring.”
Following the award win, Earps spoke to media for the Lionesses, sharing further pride after achieving her dreams.
“[It feels] surreal. I don’t even have any words. I feel like I’ve done like 5000 interviews and just babbled on like a complete fool. So I’m just so thankful, so grateful.
“Thank you so much for your incredible support. For everyone who voted for me and put me in this position. I’m so, so thankful and long may it continue. Hopefully, we can go on and make some more incredible memories together.”