As Mary Earps pointed out, her Manchester United goalkeeper kit is the third best-seller across the men’s and women’s teams, so why has it taken Nike till now to get her England jersey in shops?

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Reaction to England penalty save

Within the space of six months, Mary Earps was awarded the FIFA Best award for a women’s goalkeeper and the Women’s World Cup Golden Glove. She also became the first goalkeeper in history to save a penalty in normal time in any World Cup final - men’s or women’s. It goes without saying she deserves the title, Mary Queen of Stops.

Earps, like so many of her England teammates, is proving to be a huge hit off the pitch as the Lionesses look to inspire the next generation. But despite her club side Manchester United selling out of goalkeeper kits, and it being the third best-seller across the men’s and women’s teams, her replica England jersey was not available for the World Cup.

The Lionesses shot-stopper made it clear she was very unhappy with Nike’s decision not to stock the shirt, hitting out at the sportswear giant on social media, saying: “I can’t really sugar-coat this in any way, so I am not going to try. It is hugely disappointing and very hurtful. My shirt on the Manchester United website was sold out last season. It was the third-best-selling shirt, so who says it is not selling?”

“It is the young kids I am most concerned about. They are going to say, ‘Mum, Dad, can I have a Mary Earps shirt?’ and they say, ‘I can’t, but I can get you an Alessia Russo 23 or a Rachel Daly 9.’ What you are saying is that goalkeeping isn’t important, but you can be a striker if you want.”

After weeks of back and forth, and much energy spent by Earps who, quite frankly, had more important things to be focusing on during the World Cup, she has finally forced the company to reconsider its stance and U-turn on the decision to sell replica goalkeeper shirts.

The news is fantastic… but only at face value as the small print reveals Nike, who, let’s not forget, have made this decision AFTER the World Cup has already finished, will only be selling a “limited” amount of goalkeeper shirts, and you have to ask, is this good enough?

Mary Earps has hit out at Nike more than once Mary Earps has hit out at Nike more than once (



The short answer is no. We know it and they should know it too. Earps was the standout England player in Australia and her penalty save to deny Spain’s Jennifer Hermoso in the World Cup final was especially significant in garnering attention towards the shirt debacle. As a result, 72 hours after landing back in the UK, the petition to sell the jersey reached 150,000 signatures.

Nike has tried to, some might call it, rectify the situation and claimed it was working towards finding “solutions for future tournaments” in the face of the intense backlash. But Earps showed the sportswear brand wouldn’t be getting out of the debate that easily, hitting back on social media with the question: “Nike is this your version of an apology/taking accountability/a powerful statement of intent?”

Earps’ clear heartbreak in her initial comment that young girls are not able to buy a goalkeeper shirt and her subsequent responses to Nike go way beyond having a replica kit on your back. This is about making young girls believe. Is that not what the Lionesses are doing? So why would Nike put a stop to those hopes and dreams? Why would they not use their own platform to catapult this Lionesses’ kit into the waiting hands of fans?

An England fan with a banner supporting England goalkeeper Mary Earps ahead of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023, Group D match at the Sydney Football Stadium in Moore Park, Australia. Picture date: Friday July 28, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story WORLDCUP England. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes/PA Wire. An England fan with a banner supporting England goalkeeper Mary Earps (


Isabel Infantes/PA Wire)

It’s no secret that the shot-stopper has endured some darker times, and it’s her openness in talking about those struggles that make her such an inspiration and so popular with young people.

Her FIFA Best speech left emotions running high both in the room and across the world as she thanked her loved ones for helping her out of the dark times, but she also sent a message to every young girl, every woman and every single person who was watching to ‘Be yourself and never apologise for it’. “Be unapologetically yourself” is now a phrase stamped on t-shirts created by Earps in a new clothing range venture.

England Women’s away kit

Show your support for The Lionesses as they bid to win the World Cup with this Nike away strip. The eye-catching away shirt really stands out with a retro pattern that brings to mind many iconic moments from England’s history on the football pitch.

And yes, you did read that right, Earps recently launched her own clothing line, MAE, which broke the website on the evening of its release - and this should come as a warning to Nike that they’re going to need to manufacture a few more shirts!

While this is a personal venture, Earps’ passion is obviously inspiring the next generation to be who they want to be - and if they include having the keeper’s name on the back of their shirts, then Nike should open that door for masses of fans who are waiting to buy this replica kit.

This woman, who has obviously been through so much off the pitch, has led her team to glory on the pitch making a name for herself in world football - not just women’s - give her what she deserves. Mary Earps’ name and “limited” should never be put in the same sentence, and as such Nike’s new promise leaves much to be desired.