Ellen White – The striker inspiring the next generation

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games was a summer of magical moments and celebrations for Team GB. From Tom Daley’s historical gold medal in the pool, to Sky Browns exploits in the skate park, Team GB had plenty of reasons to be cheerful after a successful summer.

One star that caught the eye of many however, was Team GB’s Ellen White, the women’s team striker notched up 6 goals in 4 games as Great Britain made it all the way to the quarter finals, before becoming unstuck to a Sam Kerr inspired Australia, losing 4-3.

📸: Ellen White

White’s exploits this summer certainly shouldn’t go unnoticed. A hat trick in a quarter final of a major tournament is usually enough to send your side through, but it wasn’t to be this year for Team GB as they bowed out in the Quarter Finals like in London 2012. However, the impact this team had on the nation was second to none, young girls up and down the country were heading out to training for their local football clubs, wanting to grow up and copy Ellen White, she is someone the next generation is looking up to, someone the next generation of female footballers want to be. I suppose that’s what comes with the territory of being the all-time WSL top scorer!

White’s club career stretches all the way back to 2006, where she signed for Chelsea as a 16-year-old, she was The Blues top scorer having played there for 3 seasons, notching 21 goals in 48 appearances. This was White’s first taste of Women’s football after having to play in the boys’ teams at school where she grew up, in Aylesbury.

Leeds Carnegie then came calling and White made the move up north, within months however, her world was to be turned upside down. She suffered a cruciate ligament injury that kept her out the game for a very lengthy period, which some thought could have a detrimental effect on White’s career. Like she’s always done however, White has overcome adversity and after having scored 21 goals in 19 appearances for Leeds, another challenge was thrown her way, due to the breakup of Leeds Carnegie due to financial difficulties.

It was a return to North London after five years away for White. Under tutelage of Lauren Harvey, her time in North London was very decorated, winning three league titles and two FA Cups, all whilst notching up a very impressive 41 goals in 72 matches for The Gunners. Moves to Notts County in 2014, then Birmingham in 2016 followed her three-year stint at Arsenal, by the end of her time at Birmingham in 2019, White had added another 43 goals to her collection, cementing her place as one of the finest goal scorers England’s Women’s games had ever seen.

By the time 2019 rolled around, White was a household name, she had been in the England set up for nine years, her exploits at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, scoring five goals and claiming the ‘Bronze Boot’ award, brought her to the attention of Manchester City who managed to secure her signature. During her time in Manchester, she has become the all-time WSL top scorer with 55 goals, which has led to her signing a new deal in Manchester, keeping her at the club until 2023.

📸: Ellen White - Manchester City FC

To go with her WSL all-time top scorer accolade, White can also boast being 5th on the all-time scoring charts of the Lionesses with 39 goals, knowing that one more will see her tie with 3rd and 4th place on that list respectively. With a bright future to come after a sparkling summer, Ellen White will continue to inspire, and no doubt score goals, for England and Manchester City respectively.

- Finley Chung

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