Record scorer Kelly Smith retires from England duty

Tuesday 03 Feb 2015
Kelly Smith scored a record 46 goals for England

England Women's all-time record goalscorer Kelly Smith is retiring from international football after a 20-year career.

Smith, who has scored 46 goals for the Lionesses, will continue to play domestic football for Arsenal.

Smith made her England debut against Italy in 1995. She scored her first goal against Croatia in the same year.

Kelly's England achievements

Debut: v Italy, 01/11/95
Caps: 117
Goals: 46 – an all-time record 
Third English woman to reach 100 caps
Last appearance: v Ukraine, 08/05/14
First England goal: v Croatia, 19/11/95
Last England goal: v Scotland, 08/03/13
Played in 2007 and 2011 World Cups
Played in 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013 Euros
Played for Team GB at London 2012
Finished third in FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year in 2009

During her career, Smith played in four European Championships and the 2007 and 2011 World Cups. She was also part of the Team GB squad at the 2012 London Olympics.

Alongside her playing career, Smith has been training as a coach and is currently undertaking the UEFA B Licence course.

Smith said: "Playing for England has been such an important part of my life for so long, but I feel now is the right time for me to retire from international football.

"I'm at a different stage in my life now, I am focusing on coaching and working my way up to get my licences and stay involved in football that way, along with playing for Arsenal.

"Women's football has changed so much since I started playing and I am proud to have been a part of that. I'm pleased that I'll still be working in the game and with The FA in its activities moving forwards.

"I'd like to thank everyone who has supported me in my career, everyone at England and The FA, team-mates, coaches, friends and family.

"This year will be massive for the women's game with the World Cup coming up. There is a huge amount of talent in the England squad and I wish Mark [Sampson] and the team all the best for the tournament."

England head coach Sampson said: "Kelly will be remembered as one of the iconic players in the history of the women’s international game.

"The term 'world class' is often overused but when looking back over Kelly’s international career she has consistently shown on the biggest stage she was without a doubt one of the greatest ever players.

"Her legacy is not only on the field but off it, there are thousands of young girls who would count Kelly as their inspiration as well as a number of our current senior squad would see Kelly as their role model. Her ability combined with her determination to win made her a fantastic role model for our current group of senior and youth players. 

"Kelly has been a pleasure to work with, her professionalism has been second to none. I am very proud to have had the opportunity to work with Kelly. I know the type of person Kelly is - she will be the biggest supporter of this team in the summer at the World Cup. I wish Kelly all the very best for her future."

Marieanne Spacey, England Women assistant coach, who played with Smith, said: “Kelly Smith is an iconic name in the recent history of England Women’s international football, a player who has lit up the international stage with her undoubted ability and her passion for the game.

"I have been fortunate to play alongside Kelly and to have worked with her in a coaching capacity, and, throughout this period of time, Kelly has been an amazing person to play alongside and work with.

"I wish her the very best in her international retirement and look forward to seeing the next part of Kelly’s journey unfold."

England captain Steph Houghton added: "I consider Kelly Smith to be England's best-ever player and feel honoured to have had her as a team-mate. 

"She will be most definitely missed around camp. When I first came into the England set-up she was the first person to welcome me into the squad and has been someone I've really looked up as a player and as a person.

"Even though she is one of the best players in the world you would never know it as a team-mate as she is so down to earth and humble."

By FA Staff