Mary Earps, the 30-year-old goalkeeper received the prestigious title of the world’s best goalkeeper at last year’s Fifa Best awards, following the Lionesses’ triumph in the European Championship that took place in the summer.
Nike, the renowned sports brand, is responsible for manufacturing England’s kit for the upcoming World Cup.
Earps recounted a conversation with Millie Bright, stating, “Millie said, ‘My niece really wants your shirt, where can I get it?’ and I had to respond, ‘You can’t.'”
Earps expressed her disappointment, revealing, “All my teammates have ordered numerous shirts for their friends and family.
During dinner conversations, they would say, ‘Oh, I couldn’t get this.’ And here I am, thinking, ‘I can’t get it at all.'”
She also expressed her unease with people spending a substantial amount of money on outfield shirts and customizing them with the number one and ‘Earps’ at the back.
Last season, replicas of Earps’ Manchester United kit, which she wears in the Women’s Super League, sold out.
Reports suggest that Nike does not include producing new women’s goalkeeper kits for the general public in their commercial strategy.
The England home and away shirts are available for purchase in various sizes for men, women, and children.
The adult sizes retail at £79.95, while the children’s sizes are priced at £59.95.
However, the England Store does not offer replicas of the men’s goalkeeper shirt, though they can be found in other outlets.
Earps revealed that she was not informed beforehand that her kit would not be available to the public. She only discovered this when the outfield kit was put on sale.
“It may sound like a trivial issue, but it is genuinely challenging for my family, friends, and loved ones not to be able to purchase my shirt,” Earps added.
She further explained that she has been trying to address the matter through appropriate channels, which is why she has refrained from speaking publicly about it.
Nonetheless, on a personal level, she finds it deeply hurtful, especially considering the significant increase in goalkeeping participation.
As the Lionesses emerged victorious in Euro 2022, Earps played in every game, and earlier this year, she became the first goalkeeper to achieve 50 clean sheets in the Women’s Super League.
She shared that she has discussed the issue with her teammates, who are similarly disappointed by the situation.
“I won’t try to sugar-coat this in any way, because it is immensely disappointing and hurtful,” she concluded.