After 11 league championships, nine FA Women's Cups, the 2007 UEFA Women's Cup and 90 caps, former England and Arsenal LFC captain Faye White retired this week – team-mates and coaches have been paying tribute.
Defender White, 35, spent last year on maternity leave and had already announced her international retirement, but her decision to give up playing for Arsenal was due to continual knee injuries. She will remain part of the game, already employed by Arsenal in promoting women's football, commentating on television and in her role as ambassador for the UEFA Women's Champions League final at Stamford Bridge, London, on 23 May.
Arsenal forward Kim Little, who played alongside White from 2008, told UEFA.com: "She's been a great ambassador for the game. She's called her time on England and Arsenal now but I'm sure she'll still play a big part in Arsenal's future."
Former Scotland defender Shelley Kerr, the newly appointed Arsenal manager, never got to field White but the two centre-backs did face off on the pitch at international level. "Faye's been an ambassador for the club and for her country," Kerr said. "Any young girl who wants to take up football, she's the one you want to aspire to be. She's been an inspiration for club and country."
The Arsenal manager that signed a 17-year-old White in 1995, Vic Akers, made a presentation to his former skipper before the Gunners' 3-1 UEFA Women's Champions League defeat of ASD Torres Calcio on Wednesday. He told the club's website: "She was one of my best signings ever. She captained the team magnificently and always showed great attitude. She's a great person too."
England manager Hope Powell, who awarded White the captaincy in 2001 and retained her as skipper for more than a decade, said to theFA.com: "Faye was a fantastic captain for England and role model for women's football. Her professionalism and conduct were the main reasons I decided to give her the armband. Despite much adversity through injury, she had a tremendous fighting spirit to work hard in order to play for both club and country and led both to many great victories. She is a natural born leader who has been instrumental in helping to drive the game forward."
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.