England Women’s all-time leading goalscorer Ellen White has announced her retirement from football at the age of 33.
The striker has decided to hang up her boots after a hugely successful career spanning more than 17 years, representing six different clubs.
Born in Aylesbury, White began her career with Chelsea in 2005 and she also played for Leeds United, Arsenal, Notts County and Birmingham City, before finishing off at Manchester City who she joined in 2019.
White enjoyed a trophy-laden three-year spell with Arsenal between 2010 and 2013, winning two Women’s Super League titles, two FA Cups and three League Cups, before lifting the FA Cup and League Cup in her final three years at Man City.
White capped off a memorable career by helping the Lioness become Euro 2022 champions this summer, and she ends her career as the nation’s all-time record goalscorer with 52 strikes in 113 appearances – only Wayne Rooney (53) has scored more goals for England across the Men’s and Women’s game.
Thank You Football… pic.twitter.com/WmeDGeX9zT
— Ellen White (@ellsbells89) August 22, 2022
A statement from White on Twitter read: “This has been one of the hardest decisions of my life but one that I know is the right decision for me,” she wrote. “The 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. In particular playing for England has and always will be my greatest gift. My dreams came true on 31st July, winning the Euros and becoming a European Champion.”
White added: “This is for the next generation and potentially the next lioness. You don’t have to be the best at something to make your dreams come true, just look at me. Hard work, dedication, passion and love for what you do are a great recipe.
“Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something or achieve your dreams. I was once told that I couldn’t play for the boys team and I would never play for England. Now I am retiring having made 113 caps with 52 goals for England and a European Champion. Go out there and be the very best version of you!
“Finally, let’s use the momentum from the Euros win to make sure that every young person in all communities has the opportunity to play and feel connected to all England football teams. Enjoy every moment! Thank you football… All my love, Ellen.”
England Women‘s head coach Sarina Wiegman is one of many to have paid tribute to White and has labelled the striker “world class”.
“Ellen has given so much for England and we are all so proud of her. 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.”
Baroness Sue Campbell, the FA’s director of women football, said: “Ellen White will long be remembered as a model for others to follow. “It is not just about her record-breaking 52 goals and performances on the pitch, but about the standards she set and the way she conducts herself.
“A true leader of women, it has never been about Ellen White for her – even when she was scoring the crucial goals or giving everything she had, it was always the team first. She is a legend of the modern game.”
White, who also scored six goals in eight games for Great Britain at the 2012 and 2020 Olympics, leaves Man City after scoring 34 goals in 90 appearances across all competitions.