Ellen White hailed her “incredible” achievement and toasted her team-mates after becoming England Women’s record scorer with a hat-trick in Tuesday’s remarkable 20-0 humiliation of Latvia.
The Manchester City striker scored twice in the opening 10 minutes of the Women’s World Cup qualifier at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium to eclipse Kelly Smith’s mark of 46.
The 32-year-old, winning her 101st cap, equalled the record with a long-range strike before breaking it just three minutes later. A hat-trick soon made it 48 and she was just one of four treble-scorers on the night – Lauren Hemp netted four times, while Beth Mead and substitute Alessia Russo also scored three apiece.
Beth England notched a brace, and there were also goals from Ella Toone, Georgia Stanway, with a penalty, Jess Carter, Jill Scott and Jordan Nobbs on a historic evening for the Lionesses.
On breaking the scoring record, White said on ITV4: “I actually feel really emotional about it. It’s been spoken about for a long time and I feel very proud. I feel really proud of the girls tonight, we’ve got so many girls who scored their first goal for England.”
Asked what she would have said if told as a schoolgirl she would one day become England’s record goalscorer, White said: “I’d say you’re having a laugh! It’s incredible. But I’m not stopping here. I still want to score goals for England.”
White also paid tribute to Smith, saying: “To me she’s a legend, I have so much love and respect for her. She’ll always be the best for me.”
White’s City and England team-mate Steph Houghton, currently out injured, said in a video message on the club’s Twitter account: “Ellen White, what can I say – absolutely unbelievable person and absolutely unbelievable player.
“You thoroughly deserve it because of all the hard work you’ve put in on and off the training pitch. You’re an amazing team-mate and also an unbelievable best friend.”
Harry Kane, closing in on the England men’s team’s scoring record, praised White’s achievement.
He said in a video message on England’s official Twitter feed: “Hi Ellen, I just wanted to send you congratulations on reaching the highest goalscorer for England Women – amazing achievement, fully deserved and I’m sure there’s a few more to come as well. Massive congratulations.”