Lioness Jill Scott Is Making Her Retirement From Football “A Celebration”

Prince William praised the midfielder as a “pioneer” of the Women’s game.

England Lioness Jill Scott Retires From Professional Football.
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Just a few weeks after her Women's Euro 2022 Championship victory with the England Lionesses on July 31, Jill Scott has announced her retirement from professional football. In an emotional statement shared via The Players Tribune titled “Farewell Footy,” the midfielder reflected on her career in the game and thanked those who have supported her.

“I may be saying my goodbyes to football, but we're going to make this a celebration. No sad faces! We've had too much fun for any tears,” the 35-year-old said. “If you would have told me that I'd go on to play for England for 16 years? If you would have told me that I'd live to see 90,000 people packed into Wembley Stadium for a women's European final? And that I'd be playing in it? Impossible.”

Addressing the next generation of aspiring Lionesses, Scott added, “If you don't love it, you don't last. You can't. The dream is what sustains you,” before concluding, “This is my way of saying thank you.”

Scott’s career in football began in her hometown of Sunderland before she moved to play for Everton Ladies, where she spent seven years. Scott later joined Manchester City in 2013, made a brief return to Everton in 2021, and later signed to play for Aston Villa in early 2022.

During her time playing for England, Scott earned an impressive 160 caps and scored 27 goals, having competed in four FIFA World Cups and four Euros tournaments. Scott also represented Team GB at the London 2012 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Responding to Scott’s announcement, England manager, Sarina Wiegman, paid tribute to the midfielder and congratulated her on a “very special career.”

“I am so glad she was able to end on such a positive memory. It will be hard to imagine an England squad without her as she has been an icon of the team for so long,” Wiegman added.

Meanwhile, Prince William also sent his good wishes, lauding Scott as a “pioneer of Women’s football.” The Duke of Cambridge added in a social media statement: “Congratulations on a wonderful career, it’s been a pleasure to get to know you. Tiny bit pleased there won’t be any more slide tackles during ‘friendly’ kickabouts.”

Scott’s retirement comes just days after her England teammate, Ellen White, also announced her departure from professional football at the age of 33.