England Women's all-time record goalscorer Kelly Smith is retiring from international football after a 20-year career.
Smith, who made her England debut against Italy in 1995, scoring 46 goals for the Lionesses, will, however, continue to play domestic football for Arsenal. She said: "Playing for England has been such an important part of my life for so long, but I feel that now is the right time for me to retire from international football.
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. The player, who was also part of the Team GB squad at the 2012 London Olympics, has been training as a coach and is currently undertaking her UEFA B Licence course. She continued: “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.
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. 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." She was capped 117 times by England, the third English woman to reach 100 caps.