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.”
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