Alumna Earps crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2023

Mary Earps wearing a red gown and cap. She is standing in a football goal holding a green football jersey with her name printed on

Mary Earps photographed receiving an honorary degree from Loughborough University.

England goalkeeper and Loughborough University alumna Mary Earps has capped an incredible year by being crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2023.

The 30-year-old became only the second-ever women’s footballer to win the prestigious award in front of a crowd of sporting stars at MediaCityUK in Salford.

Loughborough-based athlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson, jockey Frankie Dettori, cricketer Stuart Broad, golfer Rory McIlroy, and wheelchair tennis player Alfie Hewett, were also shortlisted by a panel of experts, with a public vote then deciding the winner.

Stuart Broad was second with Katarina Johnson-Thompson third.

"First of all, I’m so humbled to be on a list of such incredible athletes,” Earps said after collecting the trophy.

“Sport is a fantastic thing where it brings the world together and it's been brilliant to listen to everyone's stories, so congratulations to you all.

"Thanks for voting for me everyone! I’m very honoured and humbled, as this is the ultimate all round sporting accolade. We’ve had an incredible couple of years but this is just ‘wow’.

"It’s not been the easiest journey and I wouldn't be here without my loved ones in my corner, who have been with me through the really not so great times.

"The last two years have been unbelievable, I’ve done more than I could have ever imagined. Thank you to my goalkeeping coaches, my team-mates and my coaches."

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year award follows a hugely successful 12 months for Earps who was voted the best goalkeeper at the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup – winning the coveted Golden Glove accolade – as England narrowly lost 1-0 in the final versus Spain.

Earps, who graduated from Loughborough University with a BSc in Information Management and Business Studies in 2016, returned to campus last week to collect an honorary degree for her outstanding contributions not only to sport, but to the global recognition and celebration of female sporting excellence.

She made history at the recent Ballon D’or awards by finishing fifth in the Feminin Award, the highest ever ranking for a goalkeeper, and was crowned The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper 2022 at The Best FIFA Football Awards™.

Domestically, Earps has continued to impress in goal for Manchester United in the FA Women’s Super League (WSL) with her consistent high-level performances contributing to her being named BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 2023.

She is also among the final three nominees for the Best FIFA Goalkeeper awards with the winner announced in January 2024.

Mary becomes the third Loughborough University alumni to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award following Lord Seb Coe (1979) and Paula Radcliffe (2002).