England legend Jill Scott praised by Prince William and Lioness teammates after hanging up boots

Jill Scott holds trophy and microphone

England footballer Jill Scott has received masses of good wishes, including from Prince William, after she announced her retirement. 

Scott, who has played for England for 16 years, announced her departure from football on Tuesday (23 August), just over three weeks after she helped England win the Women’s Euro 2022 tournament.

She leaves football with 161 caps, the second-highest number in history for any player of any gender.

Writing for Players’ Tribune, Scott said: “Today, I may be saying my goodbye to football, but we’re going to make this a celebration. No sad faces!! We’ve had too much fun for any tears.”

She added: “Imagine, if you would have told me back then 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.”

Tributes quickly poured in, including from Prince William. The royal posted on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Twitter account to praise Scott as a “pioneer” of women’s football.

“Congratulations on a wonderful career, it’s been a pleasure to get to know you,” he added.

“Tiny bit pleased there won’t be any more slide tackles during friendly knockabouts,” jested William in his Tweet.

The 35-year-old mentioned the royal in a farewell essay, published on the Player’s Tribute, asking: “Did I really hug Prince William?”

“I think he broke royal protocol when he gave us this big cuddle, but you could see it in his face — he was just so happy for us.”

Jill Scott is a ‘true legend’ of football

Joining Prince William in wishing Jill Scott well for the future was the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 account, which congratulated her and wished her good luck for the future. 

Fellow England player Alex Greenwood posted on Twitter to say: “Unbelievable team mate and a friend for life. 

“Thank you for everything you have given to the game, a true legend!! 

“Happy Retirement Champ.” 

The Lionesses also posted to say: “161 caps, 16 magical years”

Manchester City player and Lioness Lauren Hemp, tweeted: “Jill Scott, the game won’t be the same without you. 

“Simply the greatest. It was an honour to play alongside you. 

“Thank you for taking me under your wing. Enjoy retirement you deserve it!! At least I won’t be forced to rap anymore…”      

After making history by winning the Women’s Euro 2022, Scott went viral when she interviewed the tournament’s trophy in a hilarious moment, which was spotted by commentator, Jacqui Oatley.

In her Players’ Tribune farewell Scott said: “When you love football, it’s not rational. You pour everything you have into it, and it’s like you don’t even notice that you’re doing it.”