February 4th, 2015

Aaron #1

England women’s record goalscorer Kelly Smith retires from internationals




England’s record women’s goalscorer, Kelly Smith has retired from international football. The 36-year-old Arsenal Ladies striker scored 46 times in 117 appearances for her country, playing at the 2007 and 2011 World Cups and at four European Championships, as well as for Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics.

Her role had become reduced in the national squad, however, with Eni Aluko, Toni Duggan, Natasha Dowie, Lianne Sanderson and Fran Kirby moving ahead of her in the pecking order and she might have struggled to make Mark Sampson’s squad for this summer’s World Cup, which takes place in Canada, but chose to retire on her own terms.

She said in a statement: “After a lot of consideration and many conversations, I have made the toughest decision of my career to retire from international football. I feel exceptionally proud and honoured to have played for England for 20 wonderful years. I have enjoyed every single minute of representing my country and wearing the England shirt. The memories will stay with me all my life.

“I am grateful to have played under Hope Powell and to have had such an amazing support system from my family, friends and all my team-mates.”

Smith made her England debut against Italy in November 1995, and won her last cap against Ukraine last May. She will play on for Arsenal and added: “I am confident the current wealth of talent that Mark Sampson has in the England squad can achieve something special at the World Cup in Canada this summer.”

England’s captain, Steph Houghton, said: “I consider Kelly Smith to be England’s best-ever player and feel honoured to have had her as a team-mate. She will be most definitely missed around the camp. When I first came into the set-up she was the first person to welcome me into the squad and has been someone I’ve really looked up to as a player and as a person.”

Sampson told the FA’s website: “Kelly will be remembered as one of the iconic players in the history of the women’s international game. The term ‘world class’ is often overused but when looking back over Kelly’s international career she has consistently shown on the biggest stage she was without a doubt one of the greatest ever players.

“Her legacy is not only on the field but off it. There are thousands of young girls who would count Kelly as their inspiration as well as a number of our current senior squad. Her ability combined with her determination to win made her a fantastic role model for our current group of senior and youth players.

“Kelly has been a pleasure to work with, her professionalism has been second to none. I am very proud to have had the opportunity to work with her. I know the type of person Kelly is – she will be the biggest supporter of this team in the summer at the World Cup. I wish Kelly all the very best for her future.”

SOURCE

Fact: Kelly has scored the same number of goals as Wayne Rooney in internationals but she's got 117 caps to Wazza's 109. Had she scored 5 more goals, she would have been England's top goalscorer among men and women.
Aaron #1

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