Manchester City and England striker Ellen White has announced her retirement from football.
The 33-year-old scored a record 52 goals for the Lionesses and helped them win Euro 2022.
White started her career at Chelsea in 2005 and also played for Leeds, Arsenal, Notts County and Birmingham before joining City in 2019.
She made her international debut against Austria in March 2010 and went on to make 113 England appearances.
White led the line as the Lionesses beat Germany in a dramatic Euro 2022 final at Wembley last month to win their first major women’s tournament.
She retires one short of equalling Wayne Rooney’s record of 53 goals for England.
“This has been one of the hardest decisions of my life but one that I know is the right decision for me,” said White.
“This decision has always been one I have wanted to make on my terms. And this is my time to say goodbye to football and watch the next generation shine.
“It has been my greatest honour and privilege to play this game. Playing for England has and always will be the greatest gift.
“My dreams came true on 31 July, winning the Euros and becoming a European champion.”
|53 – Wayne Rooney|
|52 – Ellen White|
|50 – Harry Kane|
|49 – Sir Bobby Charlton|
|48 – Gary Lineker|
|46 – Kelly Smith|
White began her goalscoring exploits for England on her debut against Austria 12 years ago and demonstrated her prowess in front of goal on the global stage with a spectacular lob against Japan at the 2011 World Cup in Germany.
A two-time Women’s Super League winner with Arsenal, White missed most of 2014 with an anterior cruciate ligament injury
In June 2016, the then Notts County striker scored her first international goals in nearly three years when she twice found the net in England’s 7-0 win over Serbia in European Championship qualifying.
Seven more goals followed in 2017 and 2018 before a fruitful spell in 2019 when White finished joint-top scorer at the 2019 World Cup having struck six times during England’s run to fourth place.
Later that year, White was on target in England’s friendly defeat by Germany at Wembley – a game which attracted a record-breaking crowd for a Lionesses home international of 77,768.
In November 2021, White became the Lionesses’ record goalscorer, surpassing Kelly Smith’s record of 46, as England thumped Latvia 20-0 to record their biggest-ever competitive victory.
England head coach Sarina Wiegman paid tribute to White, calling her a “world-class” operator.
“Ellen has given so much for England and we are all so proud of her,” she added.
“I have only had the pleasure of working with her for this past year, but her professionalism, work rate and finishing ability is world class.
“This summer she did an amazing job for the team, she is the perfect team player and helped the younger players to find their way in international football.
“I already knew she was a great player but I found an even better person.
“We will miss her, but I fully understand her decision to take a new direction.”
‘The game will miss her greatly’
BBC Sport’s Emma Sanders:
White will go down in history as one of England’s greatest players and she leaves the game at the top following this summer’s success at the Euros.
Her goalscoring records for both club and country are nothing short of exceptional, while there are few players in history who can say they have competed in six major tournaments, alongside two Olympic Games.
She will be widely celebrated for her goals but her contribution off the pitch to the growth of women’s football cannot be understated.
White has been a senior figure for women’s football in this country for many years and became a household name in the 2019 World Cup where she finished joint-top scorer.
She has shown leadership, experience and huge pride in both playing for her country, as well as pushing for better opportunities in the domestic game.
Her iconic ‘goggle-eyes’ goal celebration has become a familiar image among football fans and her enjoyable post-match dancing at the Euros will be fondly remembered.
White has earned legendary status after a stunning career that has spanned more than two decades. The game will miss her greatly.