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England heroine Ellen White is one of the leading lights in women’s soccer

On Wednesday night Ellen White had the nation cheering as her goals earned a 2-0 win over Japan and confirmed a last 16 place for the women’s team

They are the heroes who have propelled England into the latter stages of World Cups.

On Wednesday night Ellen White had the nation cheering as her goals earned a 2-0 win over Japan and confirmed a last 16 place for the women’s team.

Considered one of the pioneers in the resurgence of women’s football – and the fortunes of the Lionesses – she began playing football at the age of four in her home town, Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, where her father Jon ran a youth academy. 

I was the only girl playing with the boys. I wasn’t afraid to get stuck in, even though they were bigger and stronger than me,’ she said recently.

‘I was always kicking a ball around the house or in our back garden.’ 

At Under-9, she was the only girl in her local team, Aylesbury Town, and scored a record 109 goals but was banned from playing the following year by league bosses who ruled mixed teams were not allowed.

Luckily the young Ellen had been spotted by Arsenal Ladies, where her father became a coach. 

The striker spent eight years with them, then went on to play for Chelsea, Leeds, Notts County and Birmingham City. 

Miss White marked her two goals against Japan with her trademark Biggles celebration – a nod to her husband, Callum Convery, 31, a sports development officer with the Football Association

Miss White marked her two goals against Japan with her trademark Biggles celebration – a nod to her husband, Callum Convery, 31, a sports development officer with the Football Association 

Wedding day: With husband Callum. Miss White says her rugby-loving husband is used to being outplayed during their kickarounds at home in Nottingham

Wedding day: With husband Callum. Miss White says her rugby-loving husband is used to being outplayed during their kickarounds at home in Nottingham

Next month she will join her best friend, England captain Steph Houghton, at Manchester City, who won the women’s FA Cup in May.

Miss White marked her two goals against Japan with her trademark Biggles celebration – a nod to her husband, Callum Convery, 31, a sports development officer with the Football Association. 

The pair love watching German football and he suggested she copy the goal celebration of Cologne’s Anthony Modeste, who cups his hands over his eyes to mimic flying goggles each time he scores.  

On the ball: Young Ellen with her aunt Lizzie. Considered one of the pioneers in the resurgence of women’s football – and the fortunes of the Lionesses – she began playing football at the age of four in her home town, Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, where her father Jon ran a youth academy

On the ball: Young Ellen with her aunt Lizzie. Considered one of the pioneers in the resurgence of women’s football – and the fortunes of the Lionesses – she began playing football at the age of four in her home town, Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, where her father Jon ran a youth academy 

Miss White says her rugby-loving husband is used to being outplayed during their kickarounds at home in Nottingham.

‘He used to like playing soccer,’ she joked in an interview. ‘Now, if we have a knock around, he usually ends up in goal.’

She has won two Super League titles, two FA Cups and three League Cups but her social media accounts reveal none of the bling-filled boasts of her male counterparts – pictures she posts are more likely to include her kittens, Chalky and Oreo.

Last summer, captain Harry Kane’s strikes helped the men reach the semi-finals for the first time in 28 years. But there the similarities end.

For while Miss White, 30, earns £60,000 a year and drives a Vauxhall Astra, Kane is on £200,000 a week and owns a Bentley, a Jaguar and a Range Rover.

It means that the Spurs striker takes only two days to earn the equivalent of his female counterpart’s salary. 

Yet Miss White has scored more goals for her country and has just signed for Manchester City, one of Britain’s wealthiest clubs.  

England men's striker Harry Kane

England women's striker Ellen White

For while White, 30, (right) earns £60,000 a year and drives a Vauxhall Astra, Kane (left) is on £200,000 a week and owns a Bentley, a Jaguar and a Range Rover.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk