2022 UEFA Women’s Euro Golden Boot winner, Beth Mead has led tributes to England striker, Ellen White following her retirement decision.
After 25 years playing football across youth and senior level, White has decided to retire from football with immediate effect less than one month after helping England win UEFA Women’s Euro on home soil with England.
White’s decision to retire from the game however has come as a surprise to many current and ex players with just under one year until 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup takes place, as tributes quickly flooded in for the modern footballing icon.
2022 UEFA Women’s Euro Golden Boot winner and England teammate, Beth Mead was amongst the first to react to White’s announcement, as she spoke of her shock amidst pride at ‘how proud and lucky’ she was to know White as not only teammate but also friend.
Words can’t describe how proud & lucky I am to have called you a team mate but also a friend. The biggest professional & goal scorer. The game didn’t deserve you but you’ll be missed greatly. @ellsbells89 my hero 🤓❤️ https://t.co/MdhFwpLJEL
— Beth Mead (@bmeado9) August 22, 2022
Fellow England teammates past and present soon began to pay their own tributes to White’s playing career as Rachel Daly admitted that she is ‘excited’ to see what White does away from the pitch moving forward, with Lauren Hemp and Alex Greenwood plus others also celebrating her success.
— Rachel Daly (@RachelDaly3) August 22, 2022
One in million💙 It has been an absolute pleasure to play alongside you , will miss you Els x https://t.co/0j6E7UMEsu
— Lauren Hemp (@lauren__hemp) August 22, 2022
Been a pleasure to share the journey with you ells, unbelievable professional, special person⭐️
Happy Retirement Champ 💙❤️ https://t.co/tnSmmL8URh
— Alex Greenwood (@AlexGreenwood) August 22, 2022
What a legend, what a player but most importantly what a person ❤️!! Been amazing to share so much of you’re journey with you.. can’t wait to see what’s next @ellsbells89 happy retirement my friend 😘 #TheBest https://t.co/sm2joaPMTu
— Carly Telford 💙 (@carlytelford1) August 22, 2022
Ellen White. Legend. Thank you. ❤️ https://t.co/j2ButmhDzs
— Lotte (@lottewubbenmoy) August 22, 2022
— Siobhan ⚽️👐🏼 (@Sio_Chamberlain) August 22, 2022
White’s decision to retire on her own terms attracted praise of USA legend, Carli Lloyd who praised the 33 year-old for bowing out on a high as a winner, following the Lionesses’ Euro success.
Congratulations on an amazing career! Nothing better than going out on your terms and as a winner. Enjoy the next chapter. Retirement life is amazing 😉! https://t.co/ZP2qoAct8u
— Carli Lloyd (@CarliLloyd) August 22, 2022
Lloyd’s fellow US footballing icon, Brandi Chastain also held high respect for White as she added that although footballers have relatively short careers in terms of lifetime, they will still be ‘stewards of the great game for a lifetime’ beyond hanging up their boots.
Ellen, there are no words that will perfectly embody the impact you’ve made&the gratitude necessary for what you have given. We are only players for a short time but stewards of the great game for a lifetime. You have many mountains to climb.Go bravely&boldly forward. Cheers 👏
— Brandi Chastain (@brandichastain) August 23, 2022
White’s departure also attracted the attention of other footballing stars from Gary Lineker to Harry Kane plus various names across women’s football media, including BBC’s Gabby Logan and Robyn Cowen amongst others.
— Gary Lineker 💙💛 (@GaryLineker) August 22, 2022
— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) August 22, 2022
— Harry Kane (@HKane) August 22, 2022
— Robyn Cowen (@robyniocowen) August 22, 2022
— Gabby Logan (@GabbyLogan) August 22, 2022
23 Sept 1998:
Ellen White, aged 9, makes the front page of her local paper after being stopped from playing football for being a girl.
22 August 2022:
Ellen White bows out from the game as a European champion and #Lionesses‘ all-time leading scorer.
Inspiration 🏴🦁🏆 pic.twitter.com/tTs7NTyKpN
— Anton Toloui (@SkyAnton) August 22, 2022
Let out a little yelp of shock in a kids’ trampoline centre on seeing news of @ellsbells89’s retirement from football, not just England. Shocked but understand it. What a player and character. Outstanding professional from non-professional era onwards. This sums her up #selfless pic.twitter.com/sZdHoj2aEc
— Jacqui Oatley (@JacquiOatley) August 22, 2022
What a way for Ellen to go out after this summer 🥇
It’s been an honour covering Ellen over the years at Arsenal, Notts County and Birmingham before her time at Man City.
She’s certainly left her mark on the game and inspired so many.
Pleased it’s on her terms https://t.co/nHgLETYymu
— Lynsey Hooper (@lynseyhooper) August 22, 2022