Nike faces mounting pressure from England fans to sell goalkeeper Mary Earps’ replica shirt after heroic penalty save saw her scoop the World Cup Golden Glove award
- The Manchester United stopper was named the tournament’s best goalkeeper
- Earps saved Jennifer Hermoso’s spot kick during 1-0 loss to Spain
Mary Earps’ heroics in the Women’s World Cup Final during England’s 1-0 loss to Spain today have reignited calls for fans to be able to buy the goalkeeper’s replica shirt with Nike being told to ‘step up’.
The Manchester United stopper’s brave performance during the showpiece match saw her named the best goalkeeper during the tournament as she took home the Golden Glove Award.
Earps saved Jennifer Hermoso’s spot kick and was a standout performer for the Lionesses, as Sarina Wiegman’s players were left heartbroken after the loss to Spain at the 75,000-plus seat Stadium Australia in Sydney.
England’s vice-captain previously expressed her dismay over the ‘very hurtful’ decision not to put her replica shirt on sale ahead of the World Cup.
A fan-led petition started in July by 16-year-old Emmy Somauroo has hit 67,000 signatures, while FA boss Mark Bullingham also previously waded into the row and said a ‘plan is in place’ for the shirt to finally go into production, ITV reported.
England goalkeeper Mary Earps took home the Golden Glove at the Women’s World Cup after her heroics in the final against Spain. It has reignited calls from England fans to be able to buy Earps’ replica shirt
Earps saves Jennifer Hermoso’s spotkick in the 69th minute. She and was a standout performer during the Lionesses’ defeat
Earps hit out at Nike at the start of the tournament after finding out her replica shirt was not available to buy in the shops, calling the decision ‘a very scary message’
Fans were unable to buy Earps’ kit during last summer’s Euros but the shot-stopper had been told the issue would be resolved ahead of the World Cup.
READ MORE: The pride of a nation in tears after World Cup heartbreak: Crying Lionesses are consoled on the pitch following agonising 1-0 defeat to Spain – as Prince William says they’ve ‘inspired’ a generation
Earps was left ‘hugely disappointed’ when she found out her shirt would once again not be available.
She raised the issue with Nike and even offered to fund the production herself but was told this would not be possible.
‘I can’t really sugarcoat this any way so I’m not going to try, it’s hugely disappointing and very hurtful,’ Earps said at England’s Brisbane hotel last month.
‘For my own family, friends and loved ones not to be able to buy my shirt, they’re just going to come out and wear normal clothes. All my team-mates, they’ve ordered a lot of shirts for their friends and family, they’re talking at the dinner table “I wasn’t able to get this” and I’m saying “I wasn’t able to get it at all”.
‘I know there’s a lot of people who have spent a tremendous amount of money on outfield shirts and then put ‘1 Earps’ on the back, which doesn’t sit well with me either.
‘It’s a very scary message that’s being sent to goalkeepers worldwide that “you’re not important”.
‘It’s something that I’ve been fighting behind closed doors. I’ve been desperately trying to find a solution with the FA and with Nike.’
Sarina Weigman’s players look on dejected following the 1-0 loss to Spain the Women’s World Cup final
Lauren James walks past the Fifa Women’s World Cup trophy. The Chelsea star came on the second half but was unable to turn England’s fortunes around
Spain star Olga Carmona celebrates with the Women’s World Cup trophy after scoring the winner in the first-half against England
After Sunday’s final pressure increased on Nike to release a ‘Mary Earps’ shirt’ and the company said it is ‘working towards solutions for future tournaments’.
‘Let me get a Mary Earps’ shirt, she’s literally a hero,’ a fan in Wembley, north-west London, told talkSport after the game.
Her friend added: ‘Come on Nike, step up.’
The calls have previously been backed by Laura Woods – who was covering the Women’s World Cup for ITV – who tweeted in July: ‘Mary’s one of my favourite England players. I get it’s not just Nike that do this, but how mad a decision not to produce and sell England GK shirts when that goalkeeper is Mary Earps.
‘And while she’s the reigning FIFA Best GK. And a reigning European Champion. Find that v weird.’
Earps was named the world’s best goalkeeper in women’s football by Fifa in February and is a Euro 2022 champion.
Speaking last month about the shirt snub, Earps said: ‘You know (England captain) Millie (Bright) spoke to me a couple of weeks ago, or maybe a bit longer, and said ‘Mary, my niece is desperate to get your shirt, where can I get it?’ I was like ‘Yeah you can’t, it doesn’t exist’.
‘I think that is a huge problem and I think it is a scary message that is being sent to goalkeepers worldwide that you are not important.
Laura Woods presented ITV’s Women’s World Cup coverage and backed calls for Earps’ shirt to be available to buy and said ‘Mary is one of my favourite England players’
‘(Kids) 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’.
‘And so what you are saying is that goalkeeping isn’t important, but you can be a striker if you want.’
England men’s keeper Jordan Pickford does not have a replica goalkeeper shirt available for purchase at the England store.
A Nike spokesman said: ‘Nike is committed to women’s football and we’re excited by the passion around this year’s tournament and the incredible win by the Lionesses to make it into the final.
‘We are proudly offering the best of Nike innovation and services to our federation partners and hundreds of athletes.
‘We hear and understand the desire for a retail version of a goalkeeper jersey and we are working towards solutions for future tournaments, in partnership with Fifa and the federations.
‘The fact that there’s a conversation on this topic is testament to the continued passion and energy around the women’s game and we believe that’s encouraging.’
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