Best, Beckham and Cantona... Manchester's football scene might just have a new style icon

Another Manchester footballing legend has emerged. They have the feistiness of City's Mike Doyle in his battling heyday and a unique sartorial style to match the once boutique-owning George Best and Mike Summerbee, or the iconic David Beckham and Eric Cantona.

She has rightly earned international honours and is without doubt an inspiration to grassroot players across the country. In fact, her performances helped the Lionesses to glory in the European Cup Final in 2022.

Even in defeat she was a winner. Who can forget her bellowing "" to Spanish players after she saved Jennifer Hermoso's penalty in the 2023 World Cup Final, which England lost 1-0. For that tournament she won the Golden Glove Award.

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She is Mary Queen of Stops - Manchester United's Mary Earps. And her fashion line MAE27 (Mary Alexandra Earps) carries the logo "be unaplogetically yourself".

Not surprisngly, as a goalkeeper, green is her favoured colour when it comes to choosing clothes. But she has also revealed what makes her tick as a player whose contribution to the England side is enormous both in terms of her talent and a charisma which bolsters the entire squad.

On her styling she says: ""I just wear what I like....something a bit bold, that is very Mary Earps outfit - with chunky accessories." Of her nickname she says: “I don’t know if that came from the Euros or the World Cup, I’m not really sure. But its not the worst thing I’ve been called so I’ll definitely take it.”

Despite her sometimes raucous passion there is mature view of the career in front of her. Speaking on Sky Sport Editions, Mary said: “I think especially after the Euros you have to have those boundaries to be able to relax and rest at night. In the last couple of years it has changed a lot in terms of the profile and I feel I have a bigger responsibiity to give back, spend more time with the fans and do things for the game that don't necessary benefit me but future generations."

Mary Earps of England celebrates on the final whistle  during the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Group D match between England and Denmark at Sydney Football Stadium on July 28, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
Goalkeeping superstar Mary Earps is the most recent cover star of Sky Sports Editions – a series showcasing original stories from leading women across sport.

Her fashion tag "be unapologetically yourself" came from a speech she made after being awarded the title of best goalkeeper in the world. "It was the first indivdual accolade I had ever won and it came out my mouth as I was fumbling over my words, and people resonated and related to it."

Mary is known for her avid use of social media. “When I was growing up I used to be constantly on and super intense. It was harder then to have that separation from my football. It actually helped me being able to have that switch off time and just be me. It’s a way I can interact with the fans, it’s a way the fans can get to know me a little bit. On the pitch I’m super intense, super serious. I want to be the best, I want to win every game but then on the flipside, off the pitch, I don’t like to take life too seriously. I want to enjoy what I do and laugh while doing it.”

Asked what we would hear if she wore a microphone during a match she said: “A lot of profanity I think, I’m just super passionate and a few of the girls have said to me that when we’re playing small sided games, they’ll just listen to the stuff that comes out my mouth because its just random and kind of unfiltered. Its exactly what I’m thinking. I’m very competitive, I play to win, I play hard. I don’t like to lose.”

Mary features in Sky Sports Editions as a cover star. She said: “I feel like people will look at it and be like ‘yeah that’s Mary she’s wearing whatever she wants again.’ They might hate it or they might like it, I don’t know!”

But Mary believes her fashion sense is actually outshone by other Lionesses. “Leah’s (Williamson), Alessia’s (Russo) or Robuck’s. They’re the ones, they’re the stylish ones, they’re the guru’s. We are not worthy. They wouldn’t come to me for style tips, none of them would, but what you see is what you get.

“Its important to be yourself all the time. I think I pride myself on being a bit of a goofball but I’m just kind of a normal person who’s just trying to see how far she can go in her career and just tries to be authentically herself.

“I don’t really see myself as being in the fashion world, I don’t see myself as being stylish in any which way. I just wear what I like and it might not be what my teammates in the dressing room think is cool but its what I like and its kind of the rules that I try and play by.

“I feel like people will look at it and be like ‘yeah that’s Mary she’s wearing whatever she wants again.’ They might hate it or they might like it, I don’t know!”

Last year Mary won BBC Sports Personality of the Year to become the second female footballer to win the award. In a ddition she and fellow Lioness, Lauren Hemp were made Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBEs) for services to Association Football.

Mary Earps after being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle, Berkshire
Mary Earps of England celebrates on the final whistle during the FIFA Women's World Cup -Credit:Getty Images

Episode seven of Sky Sports Editions is available to watch on Sky Sports YouTube. It would also be great if you could reference in copy where the quotes have come from, ie “speaking on Sky Sports Editions…”.