Ellen White announces retirement from football after England’s Euro 2022 win

The England and Manchester City forward Ellen White has announced her retirement at the age of 33, saying all her football “dreams came true” in winning Euro 2022. England Women’s all-time record goalscorer with 52 goals, White earned 113 caps for her country.

“This has been one of the hardest decisions of my life but one that I know is right for me,” she said. “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. In particular playing for England has and always will be the greatest gift. My dreams came true on July 31, winning the Euros and becoming a European champion.”

Manchester City said: “Thank you Ellen for everything you have done during your time at City. Everyone at the club is wishing you all the best for the future.”

The England women’s team Twitter feed said: “A true #Lionesses legend. Thank you for everything, Ellen.”

White came through Arsenal’s academy but made her name at Chelsea, spending three years in the senior ranks before heading to Leeds. After returning to Arsenal, stints at Notts County, Birmingham and Manchester City followed.

The Lionesses have been determined to capitalise on their success to force change at every sporting level and boost opportunities for girls and women. White urged future England hopefuls never to lose sight of their dreams. “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 you can’t do something or achieve your dreams. I was once told I couldn’t play in 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.

“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.”

The England head coach, Sarina Wiegman, said: “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.”

Sue Campbell, the women’s football director at the Football Association, 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.”