Ellen White became England Women’s record goalscorer as the Lionesses thrashed Latvia 20-0 in World Cup qualifying to record their biggest-ever competitive win.
The Manchester City forward equalled Kelly Smith’s record in the sixth minute with a strike from the edge of the area to put England 2-0 up after Beth Mead had given the Lionesses the lead.
White didn’t have to wait long to make the record her own as she met Georgia Stanway’s cross to steer a low finish home three minutes later.
The 32-year-old broke the record on her 101st international appearance, with her first international goal coming in 2010 during a 3-0 win over Austria.
White is also second on the list of all-time leading goalscorers in the Women’s Super League, having scored 58 times during spells at Arsenal, Notts County, Birmingham and Man City.
On breaking the scoring record, White said on ITV4: “I actually feel really emotional about it. It’s been spoken about for a long time and I feel very proud.
“I feel really proud of the girls tonight, we’ve got so many girls who scored their first goal for England.”
Asked what she would have said if told as a schoolgirl she would one day become England’s record goalscorer, White said: “I’d say you’re having a laugh! It’s incredible. But I’m not stopping here. I still want to score goals for England.”
White also paid tribute to Kelly Smith, saying: “To me she’s a legend, I have so much love and respect for her. She’ll always be the best for me.”
Harry Kane, who is closing in on the England men’s team’s scoring record, praised White’s achievement.
He said in a video message on England’s official Twitter feed: “Hi Ellen, I just wanted to send you congratulations on reaching the highest goalscorer for England Women – amazing achievement, fully deserved and I’m sure there’s a few more to come as well. Massive congratulations.”
A rampant England dismantled their opponents for a record-breaking win to edge closer to sealing their spot at the 2023 World Cup, with Sarina Wiegman’s side top of Group D by five points.
Mead, Lauren Hemp (4) and Alessia Russo were the other England players to register hat-tricks, with Ella Toone, Beth England (2), Stanway, Jess Carter, Jill Scott and Jordan Nobbs also on the scoresheet.
The result smashed their previous record win of 13-0 against Hungary in 2005.
It was a sixth win from six Group D games for England, their first six fixtures under Wiegman – a sequence in which they have registered 43 goals and conceded none.
Having seen her side beat Latvia 10-0 in Riga last month, Wiegman spoke in the build-up to this encounter of wanting another “ruthless” performance from England – and that is certainly what followed.