Women's World Cup: Mary Earps 'hurt' that replica jersey not on sale to fans

Mary Earps pictured at a a press conference last year. Credit: PA

England goalkeeper Mary Earps said she is hurt and disappointed that fans would not be able to buy a replica of her shirt to wear during the Women's World Cup.

The Nottingham-born Manchester United keeper told reporters in Brisbane, ahead of the Lionesses’ World Cup opener, of her frustration following what she said were months of closed-door negotiations with the company.

Nike, supplier of the kit for England’s women’s national team, has no current sponsorship of female goalkeepers, the Associated Press reports.

“I can’t really sugar-coat this in any way, so I am not going to try,” Earps said. “It is hugely disappointing and very hurtful.”

Earps discovered her kit would not be available when promotional pictures of the keepers were not included at the time the outfield players' shirts went on sale, The Guardian reports.

She said she also raised the issue last year around the Euros, when her shirt was not available for fans to buy.

The Guardian reports the men's goalkeeper shirts are produced in limited numbers.

During the men's World Cup in December, England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford's wife Megan was pictured wearing her husband's shirt as she cheered him on in Qatar.

Megan Pickford, wife of England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford with their son Arlo George in the stands in Qatar last November. Credit: PA

Ahead of the World Cup, Earps said some fans resorted to buying outfield shirts and putting the number one and Earps on the back - something she said "doesn’t sit well with me either."

England captain Millie Bright said her niece wanted to buy an Earps national-team shirt but Bright had to tell her that it wouldn’t be possible. “It is the young kids I am most concerned about,” Earps said.

“They 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 goalkeeper Mary Earps received the Best FIFA Women's Goalkeeper award in February. Credit: AP

England won the Euro 2022 title, beating Germany 2-1 in front of a record crowd for the women's tournament of more than 87,000 at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Earps started in goal as the Lionesses won their first major international trophy, and FIFA named her the Best Women’s Goalkeeper of 2022.

She has played for Manchester United in the Premier League since 2019.

“My shirt on the Manchester United website was sold out last season,” Earps said. “It was the third-best-selling shirt, so who says it is not selling?”

ITV News has contacted Nike for comment.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...