Culture Editor Daisy Griffin comments on the retirement of two stalwarts of the Lioness side that won the European Championships

Written by Daisy Griffin

Following the momentous Lioness victory at Wembley Stadium on the 31st July, which gifted England their first major tournament trophy since 1966, England legends Ellen White and Jill Scott announced their retirement earlier this week.

On Monday, Ellen White released a touching letter on social media headed ‘Thank you Football’, revealing she would be hanging up her boots. The England and Manchester City forward, having earned 113 caps for her country, described the decision, as ‘one of the hardest decisions of my life but one I know is the right decision for me’.

Though questioned for her recent performances at the Euros, the striker still bagged two goals in the competition, both scored in the record-breaking 8-0 win against Norway.

Often admired for her work ethic and work rate, leading teams from the front, White has made extensive contributions to the game, which has seen huge progression in the last decade.

Not only does White retire as European Champion, but also as England Women’s all-time record goal scorer, with 52 goals.

Not only does White retire as European Champion, but also as England Women’s all-time record goal scorer

Closing off the letter, White addressed the future of the sport asking to, ‘use the momentum from the Euro’s win to make sure that every young person in all communities has the opportunity to play and feel connected to all England football teams’.

Just a day after White’s announcement, Jill Scott revealed she would be calling time on her career in her ‘Farewell Footy’ interview.

Though less of a surprise having left Manchester City in the summer, Scott’s retirement sees an illustrious 18-year playing career draw to a close, leaving the game as the second most capped player – male or female – in English football history, with 161 caps.

Making her Lioness debut in 2006, the midfielder represented her country in ten major tournaments (including 2 Olympic Games for Great Britain), as well as leaving a significant mark at club level in the Women’s Super League (WSL).

An experienced and influential presence both on and off the pitch for many of the young players coming through the England set up, Scott’s absence from the squad will surely be felt. Lioness manager, Serena Wiegman herself stated: ‘It will be hard to imagine an England squad without her as she has been an icon of the team for so long.’

Both players’ futures appear very much up in the air for the time being. What is for sure however, is that they are both deserving of a well earned rest and what better time to do so than as freshly crowned European champions.

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