World champion kickboxer and young Lasses star: An interview with Mary Corbyn

A world champion kickboxer and a talented young footballer. It’s been a scintillating few months for Mary Corbyn.


The 19-year-old defended her world Kickboxing title last Sunday in Nottingham. A few weeks earlier, Corbyn won two gold medals at the World Kickboxing Championships.


The youngster highlighted her delight at her success on the highest kickboxing stage.


“It felt amazing because it was my toughest fight to date and she was really strong but I got the job done. It was really good they were both good experiences.”


“I started kickboxing when I was seven so it’s about 11 or 12 years, I’ve been fighting since then. I’ve only actually started playing football properly since I was 17. I played a little bit when I was younger but not much.


Corbyn discussed her nickname - ‘Scary Mary’ – that was given to her at a young age for her prowess in the ring.


“It was just when I was younger, it was the first that they came up with and we’ve just used it ever since. I’m happy with it!”


Away from her success in kickboxing, the Black Cats Academy winger has also showcased her footballing talent since joining the Club through the Professional Game Academy trials in the summer. 


A humble figure, Corbyn reflected on trialling for the Club at the time, and emphasised the role first-team assistant head coach Steph Libbey played.


“It was a good experience. I didn’t think I was good enough but obviously you don’t know until you try it, so it was really good to get in.


“Steph was my PE teacher. If I didn’t know her, I probably wouldn’t have came to the trials because I wouldn’t have known about them.”


Before signing for the Lasses, the young attacker played for North East Regional Women’s Football League side Redcar Town, scoring 32 goals and registering seven assists in just 18 games.


Corbyn compared the difference between playing for her former club and the current set-up, as well as being around the first-team squad during pre-season.


“It was good, I really enjoyed it. It was different to what I’ve been through before, so it was a great experience. Even just from the Academy games, it was different to that.


“The standard is completely different. At Redcar Town it was more just grassroots, but at the Academy it’s completely different and I’m learning new things every week.”


Corbyn’s first-team debut came against Sheffield United Women in the Continental Tyres League Cup, and what better way to mark her first game than with a winner, latching onto Katy Watson’s assist to fire past Bethan Davies.


“It was a great feeling. I didn’t expect to come on but obviously I did and scored, so that made it even better. It was a proud moment, and my family were really proud as well.



Finally, with 2023 nearing the close, our star looked ahead to what the next few months may bring, both on the pitch and in the ring.


“In football, I’m just taking it step by step because obviously it’s new to me and I’m learning every day. Being with the first team is helping me loads as well. Having two games a week with the Academy is good too.


“In kickboxing, I’ll possibly have a fight next year in April but probably nothing till then.”


Our star of many talents. We’re all proud of you, Mary!

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