England and Arsenal LFC captain Faye White is to have her first child in October and the central defender says it should signal the end of her international career at the very least.
Article top media content
England and Arsenal LFC captain Faye White is to have her first child in October and says it may signal the end of her career.
The 34-year-old made her debut for England in 1997 and has helped Arsenal – her only senior club save for a short loan at Ottawa Fury in 2007 – win 11 league titles and the 2007 UEFA Women's Cup. Having earned 90 caps and skippered England at two FIFA Women's World Cups and two UEFA European Women's Championships she was expected to wear the armband at the Olympics this summer, even though she has been out with a knee injury this season, but has now informed manager Hope Powell of her absence and likely international retirement.
"I'm pregnant and I'm going to be a mum for the first time in October," White said. "Obviously I have told the [Arsenal] team and the manager [Laura Harvey] and I know I won't be playing for a while. But I am coming towards the end of my career now anyway so there are lots of decisions to be made.
"I have spoken to Hope and this will more or less signal the end. I think this was always going to be my last year. Having made that decision after the  World Cup I picked up yet another injury and had to have keyhole surgery on both my knees, which has been quite a struggle to come back from.
"I have always overcome injuries and I was determined to get over this one. I finally got back to playing and training in the new year, but my international career will be over now. Hope was delighted for me, we spoke about my career in the past and what it means going forward."
Powell added: "First and foremost I'd like to congratulate Faye and [her fiancé] Keith on this fantastic news. I know they are both thrilled. Faye has been a tremendous player and leader for me ever since she made her debut and I have personally thanked her for 15 years of unwavering service in an England shirt."
Arsenal will aim to reach the UEFA Women's Champions League final on Saturday when they go to 1. FFC Frankfurt looking to overturn a 2-1 deficit. Meanwhile 2009 runners-up England continue UEFA Women's EURO 2013 qualifying on 17 June against the Netherlands in Salford.