Saturday, February 4 2023

LONDON (AP) — England midfielder Jill Scott announced her retirement from soccer on Tuesday, the second member of the Euro 2022-winning team to do so in two days.

The 35-year-old Scott’s decision comes after Ellen White, the team’s record scorer, said Monday she was retiring. Both Scott and White played in the final of the Women’s European Championship on July 31, when England beat Germany 2-1 after extra time.

Scott made her England debut in 2006 and had a total of 161 international appearances — second only to Fara Williams with 172 — and scored 27 goals for the national side.

She had been without a club after leaving Manchester City at the end of last season.

“I may be saying my goodbyes to football, but we’re going to make this a celebration. No sad faces!! We’ve had too much fun for any tears,” Scott wrote on The Players’ Tribune website. “Maybe it’s because I’m from Sunderland, but two things have always been true about me: I’ve always been stubborn and I’ve always loved football.

“It’s been in my blood ever since I was five years old. I saw a load of boys playing in the school yard and I walked straight up to them and said the four magic words … ‘Can I play too?’. Imagine, if you would have told me then that I’d go on to play for England for 16 years?

“If you would have told me that I’d live to see 90,000 people packed into Wembley Stadium for a women’s European final? And that I’d be playing in it? Impossible.”

Scott began her career with hometown Sunderland before spending seven years at Everton and then joining City in 2013. She later had loan spells back at Everton and Aston Villa. She won every domestic honor during her time in the game, including the Women’s Super League title with City in 2017.

Other career highlights for Scott include scoring England’s winner against the Netherlands in the Euro 2009 semifinals and also netting in City’s 2017 Women’s FA Cup final victory over Birmingham. She also represented Great Britain at the 2012 and delayed 2020 Olympics.

She made four substitute appearances in England’s triumphant Euro 2022 campaign, including the final against Germany.

Prince William congratulated Scott on her career but joked he would not miss her “slide tackles.”

William, who is president of the Football Association, wrote in a personal tweet: “A pioneer of Women’s football and a great team player. @JillScottJS8 congratulations on a wonderful career, it’s been a pleasure to get to know you.

“Tiny bit pleased there won’t be any more slide tackles during ‘friendly’ kickabouts… W.”

William presented members of the winning England team with their medals after the Euro 2022 final.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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