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England captain Faye White may have made her final appearance for her country, but for the best possible reason; the long serving centre back is expecting her first child.
"I'm pregnant and I'm going to be a mum for the first time in October," revealed Faye. "Obviously I have told the [Arsenal] team and the manager [Laura Harvey] and I know I won't be playing for a while. But basically I am coming towards the end of my career now anyway so there are lots of decisions to be made.
"I have spoken to [England National Coach] Hope [Powell] and this will more or less signal the end," she continued.
"I have had 15 or 16 years with England and I think this was always going to be my last year. Having made that decision after the World Cup I picked up yet another injury and had to have keyhole surgery on both my knees, which has been quite a struggle to come back from.
"But I have always overcome injuries in the past and I was determined to get over this one. I finally got back to playing and training in the New Year, but basically my international career will be over now.
"But Hope was delighted for me, we spoke about my career in the past and what it means going forward."
Faye made her England debut against Scotland in 1997 and has gone on to collect 90 caps and score eleven goals. The 34-year-old has captained her country at four major tournaments - two European Championships and two World Cups.
"First and foremost I'd like to congratulate Faye and [her fiancÚ] Keith on this fantastic news," said Hope. "I know they are both thrilled.
"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.
"I have had a good chat with her and I told her that the game will always be there for her, but, for now, this is a new, exciting chapter in her life and I wish her all the best."
Adrian Bevington, Club England Managing Director, said: "Faye has been a great servant to the game for a number of years and she is without doubt one of the all time greats among the England Women's team.
"She is a great example for young players to look up to and an inspiration to all.
"It would be great to see Faye remain in the game in some capacity in the future, but on a personal level I am delighted for her."
Having now spoken with her club and international managers, Faye knows she still has a lot of decisions to make in relation to her future playing career. "For now I just want to enjoy the news and see how I feel about everything," she said.
"It's funny - in the past I have missed games with injuries and sat there upset, wishing I could be out there.
"Now I realise I have a whole new life ahead of me. If there is ever a reason not to be playing then this is probably the best one."
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