Lionesses goalkeeper Mary Earps hopes Euros final win will be 'moment everything changed'

England's star goalkeeper is "imperious, commanding, and can often be often heard shouting out orders to her defence".  Credit: PA/ITV News

If you didn't know Mary Earps' name a month ago - the chances are you do now. 

On the pitch, England's star goalkeeper is imperious, commanding, and can often be often heard shouting out orders to her defence. 

When we meet her on holiday in Crete, she is smiling, relaxed, chatty and lots of fun. 

It’s a few days after the Euros final that saw the Lionesses triumph over Germany to lift their first major trophy - the end of an incredible tournament that inspired the whole nation and established Mary Earps as nothing short of a national treasure. 

Watch ITV News Reporter Chloe Keedy's interview with England goalkeeper Mary Earps.

Earps, 29, is still getting used to all the attention.

She might be 2,000 miles away from Wembley, but she can’t escape the fact that life has changed. She doesn’t yet travel with an entourage (she tells me she booked her own easyJet flight) but - "definitely got spotted at the airport."

"Nobody usually cares what I do," she adds. "I’m going to have to start towing the line."

But towing the line just doesn’t sound like Mary Earps. This is the woman who made headlines by crashing her boss’s post match press conference and dancing on the table, much to the delight of all the journalists in the room.

Goalkeeper Mary Earps recalls crashing a press conference to celebrate the win.

Although Mary insists she didn’t realise they were there, until it was too late.

"I saw Serena (Wiegman), I jumped on the table, and then I looked up and saw all the cameras and iPhones and thought, ‘oh, God’ … But I committed. I carried on and I wiggled my hips. I got down and I said to Serena we’re done now, and bolted as fast as possible."

Mary says the now infamous parties that followed were "pretty wild" but tells me "two days was enough. I had to jump on a plane and get away from it all."

So, has it all sunk in yet? "No," she replies. "Nowhere near I don’t think. I keep feeling like, ‘is this real? Has this happened?"

Earps says she hopes the win will open doors for women's football.

Perhaps, because Mary had thought her brief international career was over.

She made her senior England debut in 2017 and was part of the squad that finished fourth in the 2019 World Cup.

But after that "it just seemed to take a real downward spiral out of nowhere, and then Covid hit and the longer it went on the longer I thought… this is not going to happen to me."

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She had thrown herself into her club career at Manchester United for what she expected to be her last couple of seasons as a professional footballer.

But last September she says "everything changed", when she was named in Wiegman’s first squad.

It is now hard to imagine the England team without her in it. She played a crucial role in its success at the tournament, keeping four clean sheets in six matches and only conceding two goals.

Earps and her team mates are determined not to let this moment slip by. They are calling on the government to give girls better access to football than they had themselves when they were at school. "I played with the boys on the breaks," Mary tells me.

England Women's goalkeeper Mary Earps speaks to ITV News reporter Chloe Keedy about her team's sensational Euros win.

"I wore certain types of shoes and trousers because I was just desperate to play football. At secondary school I had a good experience, but earlier I faced a lot of challenges."

She says she hopes this will be a watershed moment for the women’s game, but "time will tell. It’s defined by action rather than words. If we can look back in a year’s time and say ‘that was the moment it all changed. 31st July 2022.

"That’s what we’re passionate about  - leaving the game in a better place."

Mary has a couple of other things to cross off her list, too. "I’d like to lift the World Cup and I’d like to win the Champions League so … no pressure. Just the biggest ones ever.

"One down, two to go."