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Ellen White honoured to be among ‘phenomenal’ leading scorers for England

Ellen White celebrates victory over Norway (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Ellen White celebrates victory over Norway (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Ellen White says she feels “incredibly honoured” to be amongst the names she is on England’s all-time top scorers list after moving to just one goal behind top spot.

White, the highest scorer for the women’s team, notched a brace in Monday’s 8-0 Euros group-stage thrashing of Norway at the Amex Stadium to take her haul of England goals to 52.

That is one behind the tally of the men’s team’s highest scorer Wayne Rooney, which White could match or surpass on Friday when the Lionesses conclude their group matches by facing Northern Ireland at St Mary’s.

Leading scorers for England
Ellen White is within one of the England goalscoring record (PA graphic)

Asked about being among the likes of Rooney, Harry Kane (50) and Sir Bobby Charlton (49) on the list, White said: “Phenomenal (names).

“It’s a difficult one because you are comparing men and women, but I feel very lucky… I feel incredibly honoured to be in amongst those names. I’m very proud to play for England.”

When the Manchester City striker was asked how hungry she was to play against Northern Ireland and perhaps overtake Rooney, she said: “That’s not my priority.

“I think for me, I absolutely love playing for England and do anything I can on and off the pitch.

“It’s an absolute pleasure for me to be part of this team, I feel so much pride and I’m really enjoying it at the moment.”

With Monday’s remarkable result seeing the tournament hosts qualify for the quarter-finals as group winners, it will be interesting to see how England boss Sarina Wiegman approaches the contest against Northern Ireland – who cannot reach the next round – selection-wise, five days ahead of a last-eight tie back in Brighton.

On her relationship with Wiegman, White said with a laugh: “I do what I’m told!

“I just love playing for England and I will do anything I can for this team on and off the pitch to help us succeed. It is an absolute joy to be part of this team – the talent we have is absolutely insane and the depth we have is unbelievable.”

White’s double was among six goals England scored in a stunning first-half display against Norway – a side ranked only three places below them at 11th in the world – with Beth Mead also netting twice after early efforts from Georgia Stanway, with a penalty, and Lauren Hemp.

After the break substitute Alessia Russo made it seven and Mead then completed her hat-trick late on as England recorded the biggest win in the competition’s history, bettering their 6-0 victory over Scotland at Euro 2017 that had previously been the record result.

Wiegman, whose side opened their campaign with a 1-0 win over Austria at Old Trafford last Wednesday, has spoken of the need to be ruthless in attack.

And forward Hemp said when asked if that had been delivered on Monday: “Yeah, 100 per cent. I think especially in the first half, it was like every single cross anyone put in, it was a goal.

Lauren Hemp scores against Norway
Lauren Hemp scores against Norway (Gareth Fuller/PA)

“Going into the Northern Ireland game, we want to be ruthless again and clinical. It doesn’t stop here, we want to just keep on getting better and hopefully that will carry on throughout the rest of the tournament.”

The 21-year-old, White’s City team-mate, added: “It’s important that we make a mark and sort of show teams that they need to fear us.

“Obviously we respect every single opponent, and Norway are a great team. But we showed our ruthlessness and hopefully, like I said, we can continue that.”