Faye White

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Faye White MBE
Faye White.jpg
Faye White at the Emirates Stadium, London, August 2006
Personal information
Full nameFaye Deborah White [1]
Date of birth (1978-02-02) 2 February 1978 (age 41)
Place of birth Horley, [2] England
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) [3]
Playing position Defender
Youth career
Horsham Ladies
Senior career*
1996–2013 Arsenal Ladies 300 (22)
2007 Ottawa Fury (loan) [4] 8 (1)
National team
1997–2012 England 90 (12)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 20:39, 7 March 2011 (GMT)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 9 July 2011

Faye Deborah White, MBE (born 2 February 1978) is a former English footballer who captained Arsenal Ladies in the FA Women's Super League and was the longest serving captain of England to date, overtaking the 26-year-old record previously held by Carol Thomas. One of the most recognised and respected players in the women's game, Faye was a commanding presence at the heart of the Arsenal and England teams from the late 1990s until her retirement in 2013. [5] Faye was recognised for services to Sport in the Queen's New Year's Honours List 2007, being appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) [6] In recognition of her achievements she was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2015. [7]

Order of the British Empire British order of chivalry

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.


Club career

Her football journey began when, aged ten, she joined in the training sessions of her brother's team Horley Town. After three years of playing with her brother and his teammates Faye decided to go to an all-girls coaching session and it was here that her path to the Arsenal Ladies team began, as she met Jim Muir, the coach of a local girls’ side Horsham Ladies. Faye very quickly worked her way into the reserves and became a first-team player aged just 14. It was while at Horsham, still aged just 16, that White was called up for the national team by Ted Copeland. [8]

Horley Town F.C. English football team

Horley Town Football Club is a football club based in Horley, Surrey, England. They are currently members of the Southern Combination Premier Division and play at the New Defence.

Three Bridges L.F.C. was an English women's football club based in Crawley in Sussex. Founded as Horsham WFC in 1981, the club began playing in the Sussex Martlet League before joining the South East Counties League in 1989. The club were invited to join the new Division One (South) in 1991 under the name of Broadbridge Heath. After reverting to the Horsham name the club continued at Southern Division level until 1995, when the club amalgamated with Three Bridges FC to become Three Bridges L.F.C.. During this time Faye White joined the club at 13 and was fast-tracked into the first team at 14. White was called into the senior England squad at 16, the first female player from outside the top division of women's football to be called up for the national team.

England womens national football team womens national association football team representing England

The England women's national football team has been governed by the Football Association (FA) since 1993, having been previously administered by the Women's Football Association (WFA). England played its first international match in November 1972 against Scotland. Although most national football teams represent a sovereign state, as a member of the United Kingdom's Home Nations, England is permitted by FIFA statutes to maintain its own national side that competes in all major tournaments, with the exception of the Women's Olympic Football Tournament.

In the 1996–97 season Faye was tapped up by Vic Akers and Arsenal Ladies. It didn’t take her long to make another big impact, earning her first international cap vs Scotland. [9] White broke into the first team, cementing a position at the heart of Arsenal's central defence. She collected her first trophy that year, the FA Women's Premier League.

In professional team sports, tapping up or tampering is an attempt to persuade a player contracted to one team to transfer to another team, without the knowledge or permission of the player's current team. This kind of approach is often made through the player's agent. It is expressly forbidden in many professional leagues in their collective bargaining agreements, but is not illegal.

Vic Akers Football player and manager

Victor David Akers, OBE is a former football player/manager and is currently Assistant Manager at Boreham Wood F.C.. Akers played as a left back. He was also manager of Arsenal Ladies winning numerous trophies with the team. In 1996 Akers became Arsenal's kit manager, a position he left subsequent to the departure of Arsène Wenger in 2018.

The Scotland women's national football team represents Scotland in international women's football competitions. Since 1998, the team has been governed by the Scottish Football Association (SFA). Scotland qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup for the first time in 2019, and qualified for their first UEFA Women's Euro in 2017. As of July 2019, the team was 22nd in the FIFA Women's World Rankings.

In 1997–98, due to White's performances in north London she was named the Premier League Player of the Year. Arsenal won the FA Women's Cup and Premier League Cup.

White achieved major success despite suffering numerous injuries including two cruciate ligament injuries, which kept her out of football for nine months each time. During her career White amassed a collection of 31 major trophies at club competition level, winning the inaugural FA Women's Super League in 2011, the FA Women's Premier League 10 times (including seven consecutive years from 2003–04 to 2009–10), the FA Women's Cup nine times and the League Cup six times.

FA Womens Premier League National Division association football league

The FA Women's Premier League National Division was a football division in England. From 1991 until the introduction of the summer competition FA Women's Super League in 2011, the National Division functioned as the top league in England. During its final two seasons it operated as the second level of the English women's football league pyramid. The Division was scrapped at the end of the 2012/13 season, prior to the launch of the Women's Super League 2. The league was played on a home and away basis, with each team playing each other twice, and points being awarded in the standard football format.

Whilst club captain, Arsenal won "The Quadruple" (UEFA Women's Cup, Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup), two "trebles" (all three major domestic competitions) and four "doubles" (League title & FA Cup). The UEFA Women's Cup victory in 2007 remains the only victory by an English team since the tournament's inception.

UEFA Womens Champions League European association football tournament for clubs

The UEFA Women's Champions League, previously called the UEFA Women's Cup (2001–09), is an international women's association football competition. It involves the top club teams from countries affiliated with the European governing body UEFA.

International career

White made her England début against Scotland in 1997, aged 19, followed by her full début against France in 1998 when she was named player of the match. White went on to represent her country in her first major tournament at UEFA Euro 2001 in Germany.

In 2002, she was named by Hope Powell as England captain against Nigeria, [10] during the qualification campaign for FIFA World Cup in USA. White was to keep the armband until her international retirement in 2012. [10]

She led the Lionesses at UEFA Euro 2005 in England, 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup in China, UEFA Euro 2009 in Finland and 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany.

At the Quarter Final stage of the 2007 World Cup vs USA in Tianjin, White's nose was broken by an elbow from Abby Wambach ten minutes before half time. White played the remaining duration of the game with the injury, making several vital headed clearances, however was unable to prevent a World Cup exit to the top ranked national team in the world. [11]

In 2009, White, in her third major championship finals as captain, led England to the final of Euro 2009 in Helsinki, Finland, where the team lost out to reigning World and European Champions, Germany. She wore a protective face mask in the final after breaking her cheekbone in the quarter-final win over Finland in Turku, just six days after having surgery. [12]

In the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Quarter Final penalty shoot-out versus France at the BayArena, Leverkusen, White missed England's fifth penalty, seeing the French win 4–3 and progress to the Semi-Finals.

White was one of the first female players to be given a central contract by The Football Association [13] and also served as an ambassador for England's 2018 World Cup bid.

In April 2012, just prior to the announcement of the Great Britain squad for the upcoming Olympic tournament, White, while still recovering from knee surgery, announced her pregnancy and made the decision to retire from international football. [14] [15]

International goals

Scores and results list England's goal tally first.
121 April 1998 The Hawthorns, West Bromwich Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 1–2 Friendly 1
214 May 1998 Boundary Park, Oldham Flag of Norway.svg  Norway 1–2 1999 FIFA World Cup Qual. 1
414 November 2003 Deepdale, Preston Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 5–0 Friendly 2
56 March 2008 Mourneview Park, Lurgan Ulster Banner.svg  Northern Ireland 2–0 2009 UEFA Championship Qual. 1
68 May 2008 Darida, Minsk Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus 6–1 2009 UEFA Championship Qual. 1
711 February 2009 Larnaca Flag of Finland.svg  Finland 4–1 Friendly 1
831 August 2009 Veritas Stadion, Turku Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 1–1 2009 UEFA Championship 1
925 October 2009 Bloomfield Road, Blackpool Flag of Malta.svg  Malta 8–0 2011 FIFA World Cup Qual. 1
101 March 2010 GSP Stadium, Nicosia Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 3–2 Cyprus Cup 1
1120 May 2010 Centenary Stadium, Ta' Qali Flag of Malta.svg  Malta 4–0 2011 FIFA World Cup Qual. 1
1219 June 2010 Aranda de Duero Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 2–2 2011 FIFA World Cup Qual. 1


International - England


Domestic - Arsenal LFC

1996–97, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10
1997–98, 1998–99, 2000–01, 2003–04, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2010–11
1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–00, 2000–01, 2004–05, 2008–09
1999-00, 2001–02, 2004–05, 2005–06



Retirement and reaction

In April 2012, White announced that she was expecting her first child and thus, her international retirement.

"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. She is one of the best defenders in the women's game and an outstanding ambassador and role model." - Hope Powell CBE , England Head Coach, 1998-2013. [18]

In March 2013, White announced her retirement from her playing career after 17 years as a professional. [5]

"She was a born leader. She had a great attitude and was, and still is, a great role model for the women's game. I think we'll have to go a long way to find another player similar to her. She was one of my best signings ever. She captained the team magnificently and always showed great attitude." - Vic Akers OBE , Honorary President Arsenal Ladies. [19]

"I never thought that I would win so much. I captained England and Arsenal for over 10 years and that's brilliant. I look back and think I've done a lot and I've won a lot. I have to be thankful for that. I've won a lot and I'm really fortunate to have done that and played for so many years at such a wonderful club. I think it's a great Club and that's why I never moved. I had offers in previous years, certainly around the time the American league started up. I knew Arsenal was a great place and really looked after the girls and did a lot for women's football in this country. As the England captain, I wanted to play the game in this country rather than abroad. To spend my career at one club is pretty good. We've been so successful over the years and have won a lot of trophies. I feel fortunate to have been a part of that. I won pretty much everything there was to win..." - Faye White MBE. [19]

Media work

White maintains her commitment to promoting women's football and the development of the game via her extensive media work, appearing regularly as co-commentator and studio pundit on television and radio for the BBC, BT Sport, SKY Sports, FATV, ESPN, Eurosport and Radio 5 Live. [20]

Non-playing career

White was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Hertfordshire in November 2013. [21]

White acted as the Ambassador for the 2012-13 UEFA Women's Champions League Final in London. [22] Faye is also an ambassador for the Football Foundation, the UK's largest sporting charity. [23]

She is the Marketing Officer for Arsenal LFC in the FA WSL [24] and a qualified sports massage therapist.

Personal life

White was born and grew up in Horley, Surrey and attended Horley Infants School, Yattendon Middle School Horley and Oakwood School, Horley. [2]

She attended Reigate College, [2] and later returned to open the new sports centre in 2010.

She has two sons, Lukas, born in 2012 and Jake, born in 2016. [25]

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