A 16-year-old football fan who was instrumental in getting Nike to sell replicas of the England goalkeeper Mary Earps’ green jersey says she is “really disappointed” at not managing to buy one after they sold out within hours this week.
Emmy Somauroo set up a petition on Change.org that was signed by 170,000 people calling on the sportswear firm to reverse its decision not to sell the shirts.
When the jerseys were put on sale for £99.95 on Monday they quickly sold out, leaving Somauroo, who had been in school, empty handed.
“We weren’t told they were coming and I was at school and didn’t know what to do – I told my mum but it was too late,” she said. “It was really great to see other girls get one and I was quite proud, but I was really disappointed.”
Somauroo’s mum, Sarah White, said seeing the shirts go on sale was “bittersweet” for the family and said her daughter had been upset to see people buying the shirt only to resell it immediately on sites such as eBay for twice the price. “It doesn’t seem fair, really,” she said.
Emmy Somauroo and her mum, Sarah White, on ITV’s Lorraine show in August. Photograph: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
After public outcry during the Women’s World Cup, Nike agreed to make and sell “limited quantities” of goalkeeper jerseys for four teams it provided kits for: England, the US, France and the Netherlands.
Earps’ penalty save in the Women’s World Cup final was one of the most nail-biting moments of the tournament and her high profile is likely to have contributed to Nike’s change of heart.
The England and Manchester United goalkeeper – who told the Guardian in July that Nike’s decision not to stock the shirt was “‘extremely hurtful” – thanked her fans on Instagram for buying the replicas and promised more would be in stock before the end of the year.
“Didn’t realise these were going on sale today. And you’ve sold them out already!” she wrote. “Thank you all for your incredible support on this. You guys have made this happen.”
Somauroo, who dedicated hours of her time and all of her passion to help get the shirt produced, said she had desperately wanted to grab one on their first release.
“It’s something I worked really hard for and I’d just really like a shirt, to be honest,” she said. “My aim for the petition was to get recognition for Mary and for her to be able to see her fans wearing it. Knowing I can’t do that personally is quite disappointing.”