Daily Express

Lioness Mary a save bet to lift SPOTY award

Bookies back Earps as fans snap up her shirt

- By Chris Riches

ENGLAND Lionesses goalie Mary Earps is hot favourite to scoop the 2023 BBC Sports Personalit­y of the Year, heading the six-strong shortlist.

Her fans showed their love for the 30-year-old shot-stopper by buying out her No1 replica shirts within hours of going on sale – after Nike initially refused to reproduce her jersey.

The shortlist for the award was unveiled yesterday featuring cricketer Stuart Broad, jockey Frankie Dettori, Earps, wheelchair tennis player Alfie Hewett, athlete Katarina JohnsonTho­mpson and golfer Rory McIlroy.

Favourite

Voting takes place during Tuesday’s show on BBC One.

The evening will be hosted by Gary Lineker, Clare Balding, Gabby Logan and Alex Scott.

Earps is an odds-on favourite with bookmakers at 1/10. Broad is 8/1, Johnson-Thompson and Dettori both 14/1, McIlroy 33/1 and Hewett 50/1.

William Hill spokesman

Lee Phelps said: “Mary Earps has enjoyed a stellar

2023 that saw her voted the best women’s goalkeeper as well as England’s player of the year.” Man Utd’s Earps, 30, won the Golden Glove for the best goalkeeper at last summer’s Women’s World Cup as England narrowly lost 1-0 in the final to Spain.

But the highlight of her career came when she helped the Lionesses lift the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022, beating Germany 2-1 after extra time in the final at Wembley. Afterwards fans were shocked to find they could not buy her replica jersey. Only on Monday did Nike make the shirt available. Hundreds of adult and junior shirts were sold within five minutes of the FA putting them on its website at 8am.

By mid-afternoon adult sizes were sold out on Nike’s website with only children’s sizes left.

EVERY boy and girl in England and beyond has the perfect role model in Mary Earps. The Lioness goalie is a living legend and her fans will go wild with excitement if she wins Sport Personalit­y of the Year.

It is a grand tribute to her skill, grit and panache that she has made the shortlist for the 70th edition of the iconic awards. She will inspire the rising generation to success on and off the pitch.

 ?? ?? Safe hands… Mary Earps
Safe hands… Mary Earps

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