The awards, which took place in Paris on 27 February, saw England Women’s goalkeeper Mary take home the prestigious trophy, naming her the world’s best.
Mary was goalkeeper throughout the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 tournament, where the Lionesses made history by becoming European champions in front of a sold-out Wembley stadium.
She played every minute on the pitch for England and conceded just two goals throughout the whole tournament. She received commendation for her performance by being named in the official EURO 2022 Team of the Tournament, voted for by UEFA’s Technical Observer panel. The Lionesses were also recognised at the BBC SPOTY Awards 2022, where they picked up the Team of the Year award.
She has now added to her array of amazing accolades.
As she collected her award, Mary thanked family, coaches, teammates and fans before sharing some inspiring words:
"You can achieve anything that you set your mind to. Sometimes, success looks like this: collecting trophies. Sometimes it’s just waking up and putting one step in front of the other. There’s only one of you in the world and that’s more than good enough. Be unapologetically yourself."
Not only a standout player in the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 tournament, Mary has also been a consistent performer for her club, Manchester United, where she has been playing since 2019. She has made the number one United spot her own, with the teams' manager Marc Skinner saying he "would not swap Mary for another goalkeeper in the world".
Starting out as a youth player for Leicester City at aged 14, the 29-year-old Nottinghamshire-born footballer has come a long way.
The Best awards run annually and honour the very best in the sport, for players and coaches.
Winners were chosen by national team coaches and captains as well as a group of journalists and supporters around the world.
Alumna Mary Earps was selected as this year’s winner ahead of Chelsea’s Ann-Katrin Berger and Lyon’s Christiane Endler and the award recognises performance from 7 August 2021 – 31 July 2022.
Mary graduated from Loughborough in 2016 with a degree in Information Management and Business Studies and she was recognised with the Distinguished Alumni Award by the University’s School of Business and Economics last year for her incredible achievements in women's professional football.