Ellen White makes Soccer Aid history as England end losing streak

Ellen White makes Soccer Aid history as England end losing streak
Ellen White makes Soccer Aid history as England end losing streak

Former Lioness Ellen White became the first woman to score at Soccer Aid when England beat the World XI 6-3 in Sunday’s charity match at Stamford Bridge.

Victory for England ended the World XI’s five-year winning streak in the annual match and over £15m was raised for UNICEF. This year’s England side was managed by Harry Redknapp and Frank Lampard, while another former Chelsea boss, Mauricio Pochettino, was in the opposition dugout.

England took an early lead through former Three Lions international Joe Cole, but it was quickly cancelled out by an outstanding free kick from Eden Hazard on his return to Stamford Bridge. Juventus legend Del Piero then put the World XI 2-1 up to turn the game on its head.

White then put England back on level terms on the brink of half-time to make Soccer Aid history. She fired into an empty net after some clever footwork from Jack Wilshere pulled the goalkeeper off his line and he laid it off for White across the face of goal.

The Lionesses’ all-time top goalscorer announced her retirement from the game in 2022 after England’s triumph at the Euros. The 35-year-old was playing for Manchester City at the time, but had previously represented the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Birmingham City.

In total, White scored 52 goals in 113 caps for the Lionesses, while she scored 145 career goals throughout her time at six different clubs. She won nine major honours at Arsenal and Manchester City, as well as the Euros two years ago with England.

Steven Bartlett was the star of the show in the second half as he put England back in front early doors, Jermain Defoe then made it 4-2 shortly after and Bartlett bagged his second to make it five.

A penalty for the World XI, which was calmly dispatched by Billy Wingrove, meant England’s win wasn’t quite set in stone, but a late goal from Theo Walcott to make it 6-3 put the result beyond doubt and ended their five-year wait for the trophy.

White was joined in the squad by former teammates Karen Carney and Jill Scott, who amassed over 300 caps for England between them throughout their playing careers. Both returned to the Soccer Aid lineup after previous appearances following their respective retirements in 2019 and 2022.