The 33-year-old, who has been on the books of City since the summer of 2019, brings the curtain down on an illustrious career spanning more than 17 years - one which culminated in UEFA Women’s European Championships success last month.
England’s all-time women’s record goalscorer, the legendary striker ends her playing career this summer on the highest of highs and having left an undeniable impact on the game as a whole.
Born in Aylesbury, her foray into football began at the age of eight when she was scouted by Arsenal, with her rising up through their youth ranks before departing for senior football with Chelsea in 2005.
Despite only being 16 years old, White hit the ground running and was Chelsea’s top scorer for her three seasons there before she moved to Leeds United in 2008.
Spending two seasons with the then-named Leeds Carnegie outfit, she overcame a cruciate ligament injury to score twice in the FA Women’s Premier League Cup Final against Everton in early 2010.
Returning to Arsenal in July of the same year, the striker enjoyed a trophy-laden stint with the club where she honed her talents as a youngster, tasting success on seven occasions in three years with the Gunners, securing two WSL titles, two FA Cups and three League Cups.
Notts County came calling in 2013 however, and despite injury curtailing her first season with the Magpies, White bounced back and figured prominently in the following two campaigns before making the switch to Birmingham City in 2017.
Scoring the winning penalty in the semi-finals of the FA Cup against Chelsea that year to set up a final date with future club Manchester City, she was top scorer in the WSL the following season with 15 strikes in 14 outings.
Her scintillating form for the Midlands outfit caught the eye of City meanwhile, and ahead of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup – a tournament where she went on to earn the Bronze Boot - the forward put pen to paper on a two-year deal at the Academy Stadium.
Making her debut for the Club in a UEFA Women’s Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid in October of that year, she went on to rack up 90 appearances in three seasons, finding the back of the net 34 times.
Becoming only the second player to reach 50 goals in the WSL in November 2020 with a brace against Bristol City, she earned the mantle of the being the league’s then all-time goalscorer with her strike in a 2-1 win over Arsenal in February 2021.
Silverware also featured prominently during her time in Manchester, with her earning a third Women’s FA Cup winners’ medal in November 2020 before captaining the team to Continental Tyres League Cup success against Chelsea in March 2022.
On the international scene meanwhile, White represented England at numerous youth levels before being handed her senior debut against Austria in March 2010, scoring in the final minute in a 3-0 win.
The rest, as they say, is history, with her going on to represent her homeland at ten major tournaments including three World Cups and three European Championships, earning 113 caps and scoring 52 goals along the way – making her England’s all-time record women’s goalscorer and second overall to Wayne Rooney.
She also figured for the Lionesses in the Cyprus Cup (2013), SheBelieves Cup (2019 and 2020) and Arnold Clark Cup (2022), plus two Olympic Games with Team GB, reaching the quarter final stage in 2012 and 2021.
Following her UEFA Women’s Euro heroics with the Lionesses this summer however, White has taken the decision to retire from the game with immediate effect.
Head Coach Gareth Taylor paid tribute to White, saying: “Ellen is without doubt an icon of the game, and although her career is now at its end, her efforts have paved the way for so many to flourish in the future.
“She has given so much over the years to the game that she adores, and she leaves it in the strongest place it has ever been, which is testament to her hard work and sacrifices.
“She has been the definition of the consummate professional and I feel incredibly privileged to have been able to work with her over the past two seasons - her name will be written into the history books as an icon of women’s football.
“Whatever her next steps are, on behalf of everyone here at Manchester City, I’d like to express our immense gratitude to her and wish her all the very best for the future.”
Managing Director Gavin Makel echoed Taylor’s sentiments, adding: “Players like Ellen are incredibly special and rare – what she has done for the game during her career, both on and off the pitch, is truly remarkable.
“The phrase ‘legend’ is thrown around freely nowadays, but Ellen is someone who truly deserves that title – she has given so much over the years to help grow and develop women’s football.
“I have no doubt she will continue making her mark in many other ways as she embarks on this new chapter of her life and career, and she’ll always have the support of her City family, wherever that takes her.”