England goalkeeper Mary Earps has been named the 2023 BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Earps, 30, was the Lionesses’ standout player when they reached their first World Cup final in the summer and was awarded the Golden Glove for the tournament’s best goalkeeper.
She is the second consecutive women’s footballer to win the BBC award.
English cricketer Stuart Broad came in second place, while world heptathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson came in third.
Jockey Frankie Dettori, wheelchair tennis player Alfie Hewitt and golfer Rory McIlroy were also shortlisted for the award by a panel of experts, with the winner decided by a public vote.
“It feels so great after two really big years, and 2023 has been tumultuous in ways I didn’t expect,” Earps said while accepting the award.
“I’m really, really grateful.”
Earps, who plays her club football for Manchester United, follows Lionesses teammate Beth Mead in being named Sports Personality of the Year.
Following tennis player Emma Raducano’s success in 2021, she became the third woman to win in a row – the first time this had happened since the 1960s.
Earps played every minute of England’s seven World Cup matches, conceding only four goals and keeping three clean sheets, while also saving a penalty in England’s 1-0 final loss to Spain.
She was previously part of England’s Euro 2022 win, helping the Lionesses win their first major title.
“I wouldn’t be here without my teammates at the Lionesses and Manchester United because we’ve achieved some amazing things over the last two years,” Earps said.
“Although individual awards are great, they come after the team’s success. This is their trophy just as much as mine.”
The FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper of the Year has been named England’s Player of the Year for 2022-23 and finished fifth in Ballon d’Or voting.
In domestic football, Earps was awarded the Women’s Super League Golden Glove for the 2022-23 season with Manchester United, after keeping a record 14 clean sheets.
She also became the first female goalkeeper to keep 50 clean sheets in the WSL, and has been linked with a move to Arsenal.
After being benched as England’s third-choice goalkeeper at the 2019 World Cup, Earps was not included in Phil Neville’s upcoming Lionesses squad and will not represent her country until 2021.
But she turned her fortunes around and is now England and United’s undisputed number one player.
They have become a fan favourite, and the latest range of Earps England goalkeeper shirts sold out within five minutes after kit supplier Nike faced a backlash after failing to produce any during the World Cup.
“I feel like I’m always committed to myself that whatever comes next [tough] “The period will be a bonus,” Earps said.
“It hasn’t stopped yet and I’m just trying to take advantage of everything that comes my way because when it stops you miss it.”
Earps, who away from football has a degree in Information Management and Business Studies, is stopped for photos, spotted at airports and on the street – and even has a bus and tram named after her in her hometown of Nottingham.
But the goalkeeper’s hopes of collecting more trophies on the world stage were dealt a major blow after England failed to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics on behalf of Great Britain.
The 2023 Sports Personality of the Year award, presented by Gary Lineker, Claire Balding, Gaby Logan and Alex Scott, was presented live from MediaCityUK, Salford.
Who else was honored in Sports Personality 2023?
“Internet nerd. Avid student. Zombie guru. Tv enthusiast. Coffee advocate. Social media expert. Music geek. Professional food maven. Thinker. Troublemaker.”