England Striker Ellen White was once banned from playing football at the age of nine, with a headline story that recently resurfaced on social media.
The 33-year-old led the line for Sarina Wiegman’s side throughout the tournament, scoring twice in her six matches.
White is England’s all-time leading goalscorer, having scored 52 goals in 113 appearances for the national team.
But things could have turned out very differently for the Manchester City striker, who was once banned from playing football as a youth.
In 1998, White was prevented from playing in a local boys league in Buckinghamshire.
At the time, White was a member of Arsenal’s girls’ academy and had scored 100 goals the previous season after playing for her father’s football academy.
But she was prevented from playing alongside boys, which spurred her on The Bucks Herald newspaper to publish a front-page story on the story on September 23, 1998.
The article, which features a picture of White looking sad in her Arsenal kit, leads with the headline: “Football girl banned from boys league”.
“Helen is only nine and can’t understand why she can’t play soccer,” the caption read.
The Bucks Herald he also reported in 2019 that White, who is from Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, had to play for the boys’ team when she attended The Grange School as they did not have a girls’ football team.
“When Helen was at school, we didn’t have girls’ football in the curriculum, but she always played football with the boys and loved all her sports,” said one of her former teachers.
White would later leave Arsenal’s academy in 2005 to join London club Chelsea.
He moved to Leeds Carnegie in 2008 before returning to Arsenal two years later.
After a three-year stint with the Gunners, White joined Notts County before moving to Birmingham City in 2017, eventually joining current club Manchester City in 2019.