Mary Earps reveals difficulties with fan relationship following rise of women’s football

Earps has also discussed her shirt selling out after Nike belatedly decided to release a limited number following the Lionesses’ success at the World Cup

Sonia Twigg
Friday 27 October 2023 15:27 BST
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<p>Mary Earps’ goalkeeper shirt has sold out after Nike released a limited number </p>

Mary Earps’ goalkeeper shirt has sold out after Nike released a limited number

Mary Earps was forced to admit it has become “really difficult” to keep all fans happy with the increased attendances and popularity of the sport.

The England goalkeeper was criticised for not signing an autograph following Manchester United’s win at Everton on Sunday.

The Lionesses throughout the years have frequently stayed behind after games to meet with the supporters in the crowd, but the increased attendances have meant the fans they do meet become a smaller proportion of the total.

When asked about the incident, which played out on social media, Earps said: “We love to interact with the fans but it’s at times becoming really difficult to keep everybody happy and to interact with as many people as possible.”

"We’re obviously so grateful that thousands and thousands of people want to meet us and come and talk to us, but the reality of it is, if that’s the expectation, we’re always going to fall short.

"I think the emphasis on it needs to switch now. We love that we can be so connected, but equally we are subject to a lot of comments and unnecessary [criticism]. At times it’s just an addition to the game that we don’t need."

When England played Scotland at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light in September, some fans reportedly chanted for the Lionesses to “get off the bus” and meet them.

Earps made headlines throughout the Women’s World Cup in the summer when she commented that her national team goalkeeping shirts were not available to buy for fans. Nike has since released a limited number of replica shirts, which have sold out.

Speaking about the shirts she said: "It’s just brilliant for [the young goalkeepers] to have that access and have their own personal shirt," added Earps. "I know there’s going to be more shirts coming at the end of this year so I’m really excited about that as well."

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