'A caring and conscientious student': Teachers share their memories of Aylesbury and England football star Ellen White

The Ellen White mural in the High Street, Aylesbury
The Ellen White mural in the High Street, Aylesbury

Teachers at Ellen White's former school The Grange have been sharing their memories of the lioness ahead of England's World Cup semi-final against the United States tonight (Tuesday).

Staff report that the excitement at the school has been palpable at the prospect of the Manchester City striker coming home with either an individual golden boot award or team honour (or maybe even both!)

Ellen White in action for England

Ellen White in action for England

Sharon Wilson, assistant head at the school, who taught Ellen french in year seven told us: “Ellen was a lovely student who was very caring and conscientious.

“Hopefully some of the French that I taught her will come in useful during this tournament!!

“At the time Ellen was at the school we did not have girls football on the curriculum, but she was always playing football with the boys and loved all her sports.

“Talking to Ellen’s former PE teachers they said she did not just think about the performance aspect of sport.

“They recalled one time when they were trying to encourage her to improve my personal best in athletics.

“The teachers were trying to incentivise Ellen by offering chocolate and biscuits but all she wanted was some strawberries!”

Sharon reported there has been a great buzz at the Grange as the Lionesses World Cup campaign has progressed over the past month.

She said: “Everyone here is very excited and there is a great positive vibe around the school at the moment.

“We have one of Ellen’s signed shirts on display and she is acting as a real role model for our students.

“She has come back to the school before and helped make some presentations at our awards evening - we would certainly like her to come back again but we understand she is in high demand!”

Meanwhile, the mural of Ellen, which is based around her infamous goal celebration, continues to occupy its place in the High Street.

It is part of a series of paintings popping up around the UK to promote the women’s game and to mark the Lionesses run in France.

England take on the United States tonight (Tuesday) potentially just 90 minutes away from a place in the World Cup final - the match kicks-off at 8pm and is live on BBC One.

Ahead of the match Ellen is level on goals with the United States Alex Morgan, and it is likely one of them will walk away with the golden boot.

Ellen's goals in this tournament have come against Scotland and Japan (twice) in the group stage, before goals in the knockout stages against Cameroon and Norway, where she surpassed Fara Williams England World Cup scoring record.

Her tally stands at six, with her other strike becoming in the 2011 tournament against Japan.

Speaking to the Bucks Herald last week ahead of the game with Norway, Gill Sayell, who started her football career in Aylesbury and played for England at the 1971 World Cup said: “Ellen is playing absolutely fantastically at the moment - she continues to go from strength to strength.

“Everything she touches is turning to gold at this point in time.

“I think she has really cemented her starting spot (ahead of Jodie Taylor) in the team with her recent goals.”