The ongoing saga surrounding England goalkeeper Mary Earps' replica goalkeeper top - and Nike's apparent refusal to sell a version of it to the young, wannabe superstars of tomorrow - has taken a number of twists following her heroics at the World Cup.
The Lionesses stopper won the golden glove at the tournament in Australia, where she saved a penalty in their 1-0 gut-wrenching defeat to Spain in Sunday’s final.
But despite her rising popularity built on a seeming uncomprmising and wholehearted approach to football, Nike has seemingly held firm on its decision not to make the top available to the public.
Manchester United keeper Earps has now questioned the firm's decision in an Instagram post and has encouraged football fans to sign a petition in order to change the kit manufacturer's mind.
She had described the decision as “hugely disappointing and very hurtful” before Saturday's World Cup final.
Yahoo News runs down the latest twists and turns:
Earps hits back at Nike
After days of bubbling resentment among the public at Nike's decision not to stock a replica kit, on Tuesday afternoon Earps posted a screenshot of the company's statement on her Instagram stories, adding the comment: “@Nike is this your version of an apology/taking accountability/a powerful statement of intent?”
In a following post, Earps provided a link to a change.org petition that started in July, calling on Nike to release the goalkeeper shirt.
Read more: Mary Earps hits out at Nike over continued refusal to sell England goalkeeper jerseys (Independent, 3 mins)
Petition tops 100,000
More than 100,000 people have signed a petition calling on Nike to make available the England goalkeeper's shirt.
It reads: “We need to show togetherness and support Mary and ask Nike to rethink their decision.
“Let’s make them see just how important our female goalkeepers are.”
As of Wednesday evening, more than 140,000 had expressed support.
Sign the petition (Change.org)
Record company releases Earps replcia kit
An entrepreneurial, Oxford-based record label has decided to design an unofficial Earps shirt to fill the gap in the market.
Jack Clothier, the 41-year-old founder of Alcopop Records, came up with the idea on Wednesday and made a “last-minute decision” on Sunday to design the shirts.
During the World Cup final against Spain, his partner, Rhi Lee, 38, designed the shirt in the first half of the match and it was made available for purchase at halftime.
Read more: Record company releases Earps replcia kit (PA, 4 mins)
Video with Mary Earps parents goes viral
There was one light-hearted moment in the ongoing story when an interviewer accidentally stumbled across Mary Earps' parents when interviewing people on public transport - and asked them how they managed to get a women’s goalkeeper shirt.
The clip, shared widely across the internet, shows COPA 90 presenter Eli Mengem asking the couple how they managed to snag two of the tops despite them not being on sale.
At first, they attempted to act nonchalant but eventually revealed that their daughter Earps had gifted them the shirts.
Watch on X (formerly Twitter): Video with Mary Earps parents goes viral
The criticism of Nike
Nike has been heavily criticised for not selling England’s women’s goalkeeper shirt.
Former swimming world champion Karen Pickering asked whether “Can we buy her shirt yet???” after she won the Golden gloves.
While England men’s goalkeeping legend David Seaman suggested Nike was “regretting not selling the Mary Earps shirt now” after her heroics.
And former Labour shadow minister Mary Creagh, tweeted: “Looking forward to @nike getting Mary Earps’ shirt ready for her with a massive slice of humble pie.”
BBC broadcaster Gabby Logan said she hoped little girls could be able to own one of the tops after being inspired by Earps.
Read more: Teen says Nike should be ‘embarrassed’ after not selling Lioness goalie shirt (Daily Gazzette, 2 mins)
In a statement released after the final, the kit manufacturer said: “Nike is committed to women’s football and we’re excited by the passion around this year’s tournament and the incredible win by the Lionesses to make it into the final.
“We are proudly offering the best of Nike innovation and services to our federation partners and hundreds of athletes.
“We hear and understand the desire for a retail version of a goalkeeper jersey and we are working towards solutions for future tournaments, in partnership with FIFA and the federations.
“The fact that there’s a conversation on this topic is testament to the continued passion and energy around the women’s game and we believe that’s encouraging.”