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Women’s World Cup: England goalkeeper Mary Earps hurt fans can’t buy replica shirt

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Women’s World Cup: England goalkeeper Mary Earps hurt fans can’t buy replica shirt

Earps has made 34 appearances for England since her debut in 2017

England goalkeeper Mary Earps says it is “hurtful” that fans cannot buy a replica of her goalkeeper shirt.

The 30-year-old was named the world‘s top goalkeeper at last year’s Fifa Best awards following the Lionesses’ victory in European Championship that summer.

England’s kit for this summer’s World Cup is manufactured by Nike.

“Millie [Bright] said ‘my niece is desperate to get your shirt, where can I get it?’ and I was like, ‘you can’t’,” Earps said.

“All my team-mates have ordered a lot of shirts for their friends and family.

“They were talking about it at the dinner table, saying ‘oh I wasn’t able to get this’. And I’m thinking, ‘I can’t get it at all’.

“There are a lot of people who have spent a tremendous amount of money on outfield shirts and then put a number one and ‘Earps’ on the back, which doesn’t sit well with me either.”

Replicas of Earps’ kit with Manchester United, who she plays for in the Women’s Super League, sold out last season.

It has been reported that producing new women’s goalkeeper kits for the public is not part of Nike’s commercial strategy.external-link

The England home and away shirts are available to buy in men’s, women’s and children’s sizes and retail at £79.95 for an adults and £59.95 for kids. However on the official England Store shirts are not available in men’s sizes above medium.

Earps says she was not told her kit would not be available to the public and only found out when the outfield kit went on sale.

Mary Earps was selected for the 2019 World Cup squad but did not make an appearance

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“For my own family and friends and loved ones not to be able to buy my shirt, I know that sounds like ‘oh Mary, what a horrible problem’, but on a personal level that is really hard,” Earps added.

“I have been trying to go through the correct channels as much as possible, which is why I have not spoken on it publicly.

“On a personal level, it is hugely hurtful. There has been an incredible rise in goalkeeping participation.”

Earps started every game as the Lionesses won Euro 2022 and became the first goalkeeper to keep 50 clean sheets in the Women’s Super League earlier this year.

She said she had spoken to her team-mates about the issue and that they were also disappointed by the situation.

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

BBC Sport has contacted Nike and the Football Association for comment.

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