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Name Ellen White
Gender Female
Ethnic English
Job English Footballer
Desc England’s Ellen White demonstrated how dangerous she is in front of goal at the Women’s World Cup. Now at Manchester City, White netted match-winning goals against Scotland and Japan at France 2019, showing her knack of producing the goods when it matters

Affiliation

Org England Women National Team
Club as Player Manchester City Women
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2019 06 10 Retrieve

[England striker Ellen White has explained the inspiration behind her goal celebration] I like watching the Bundesliga. I support Cologne and striker Anthony Modeste, that’s his celebration. My husband was like, why don’t you do that? But I’ve started something I can’t really stop now!

We just love German football and went over there on a break and loved the atmosphere and the football

[The goal continued White’s scoring spree against the Scots, with her having netted on each of her last three appearances against England’s rivals] You get so much adrenalin playing against your rivals of another nation, but I just feel really honoured to be in my third World Cup and I feel in a really good place at the moment. There’s been so much hype and expectation about this game and we’re really delighted to get the 90 minutes under our belt and come out with three points

[After watching Australia suffer a shock defeat in their opener with Italy, while Germany and Spain struggled in their first wins, England will be delighted to have not only started with a victory, but to have played well for the most part of it too] t was a tough game for us but the main thing is we’re in this tournament now and we’ve got the three points and we look forward to facing Argentina. It was really hot and humid, but we’re really pleased with our first-half performance. We’re a little bit disappointed with our second half, but that’s what happens in tournament football, you have those rollercoasters and we need to change that moving forward - but we can’t peak too early. We’ll keep growing, keep developing, keep learning, and look forward to Argentina.​

2019 06 28 Retrieve

[Ellen White: What does England striker’s Women’s World Cup celebration mean?] Me and my husband are big fans of the Bundesliga. We went to Koln a good few years ago now and Anthony Modeste, who plays for them, scored a late winner, and that was his celebration. My husband said: ‘Why don’t you do that one?’

So it’s kind of for him but I kind of wish I hadn’t started it now because everyone expects me to do it. But it’s cool. My little nieces like doing it and I get a lot of people doing it to me. So it’s fun

2019 11 14 Retrieve

[The England international looks back on a remarkable year in which her ‘glasses’ celebration swept the nation] It blew my mind that loads of people started to do it. I’ve seen loads of videos of when kids have scored and they do it. But I’ve also seen grown adults doing it – that one was really weird for me! Boys as well as men doing it. I think there’s been quite a big shift. A lot of lads have been watching the game and they are just seeing it as football. They just love sport and love watching football and they really were captivated as well. That’s what’s really exciting and really great for us, that so many people watched it, so many people got involved, and so many people enjoyed it. Hopefully, they’ll come back, come to some games and watch more of our games coming up.

[There were other offers on the table after she had decided to leave Birmingham City in the summer, but White never had any doubt about where she was going after speaking to Nick Cushing] He pretty much sold the dream to me. They were the whole package. Obviously, I know quite a few players as well, but I think for me, it was about developing as a player, striving for trophies, to win things. But it was also the culture, the environment, and being surrounded by incredibly talented players at the same time. There were a lot of things that came into why I wanted to come here and obviously it’s a big move as well for my family. It was quite a lot to think about, but I think it was an easy decision at the same time. I was really pleased to have that all done before the World Cup and I hope it shows at the World Cup that I felt really relaxed

[With so many goals scored, it’s no surprise she finds it tough to pick a favourite] I’m really proud obviously of what we achieved, how the country grasped a hold of the team and really got swept up by the wave and supported us. A phenomenal amount of people watched [the semi-final against the USA]. It was crazy how much media coverage [we had]; it was on the back of papers, everything. That was really amazing and that’s something we can be really proud of. We’ve kind of put women’s football in the spotlight and people seem to be really enjoying it and are really excited about it.

[White herself had felt those emotions before. She has always been a fan - growing up, she was World Cup crazy] We’re a big, football-mad family. I had pretty much most England shirts and my dad would take me and my brother to the pub to watch games. The atmosphere was always incredible, we used to have a lot of friends who would go, too – my dad’s friends and their children. It used to be amazing. It was on the big screen and it used to be really fun to go and watch

[While she fondly remembers Michael Owen’s goal against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup in France] He was so good, wasn’t he?” – she says her abiding memories of the tournament go beyond individual moments of excellence. To be honest, it’s not necessarily what happens on the pitch, but the atmosphere watching, the anticipation of a goal coming or wanting the team to do so well,” she explains. Just having flags everywhere around the country, I think that’s more what I remember, how captivated the country got at the same time. [For the 2002 World Cup], I was in secondary school and because it was in Japan, there was the time difference, so we used to get up really early and the school would open in the sports hall and put the matches on a big projector. I think we got to have bacon sandwiches after the game. There used to be loads of us that used to go – I have real vivid memories of watching the tournament.

[Her memories about the Women’s World Cup are much different, though, as she didn’t experience quite the same level of engagement on a national level] I watched a lot of the 2007 Women’s World Cup and I really enjoyed watching that one and I felt really invested because you want England to do well. I think that was the one where it was a little bit more on TV as well. But that’s the one that I can really remember. It’s a shame really that it wasn’t more publicised.

[With back-to-back World Cup semi-finals, and the semi-finals of the Euros reached in between, the fanbase for England’s Lionesses is growing at some pace] I feel disappointed. We had so much genuine belief that we would win the World Cup. It was horrendous. You can probably see by my interview that I did at the end of the game where I was just blubbering, it meant everything to us to go all the way

[The striker looked to have brought England level when they trailed 2-1 to the United States in an epic semi-final, only for VAR to rule it out for the slightest of offsides] That’s elite sport. That’s what essentially takes you from second to first. It’s just those minimal tiny percentages and we just couldn’t quite get it on the day. I said to mum and dad, ‘You should have given me a five and a half-size shoe! It would’ve been a goal!

[A seventh goal of the tournament, a potential Golden Boot-clinching goal, wasn’t to be, and her ‘glasses’ celebration – which was inspired by Cologne striker Modeste] He’s messaged me on Instagram and on Twitter and stuff like that. I think he’s alright with me taking his celebration - he’s got the rights to it, I think!