England's record goalscorer Kelly Smith quits international scene
England's record women's goalscorer Kelly Smith has retired from international football.
The 36-year-old Arsenal Ladies striker scored 46 times in 117 appearances for England, playing at the 2007 and 2011 World Cups and at four European Championships, as well as for Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics.
Her role had become reduced in the national squad, with Eni Aluko, Toni Duggan, Natasha Dowie, Lianne Sanderson and Fran Kirby moving ahead of her in the pecking order.
Smith may have struggled to make Mark Sampson's squad for this summer's World Cup, which takes place in Canada, but chose to retire from England duty on her own terms.
She said in a statement: "After a lot of consideration and many conversations, I have made the toughest decision of my career to retire from international football.
"I feel exceptionally proud and honoured to have played for England for 20 wonderful years. I have enjoyed every single minute of representing my country and wearing the England shirt. The memories will stay with me all my life.
"I am grateful to have played under Hope Powell, and to have had such an amazing support system from my family, friends and all my team-mates."
Smith made her England debut against Italy in November 1995, and won her last cap against Ukraine last May.
She will play on for Arsenal, and added: "I am confident the current wealth of talent that Mark Sampson has in the England squad can achieve something special at the World Cup in Canada this summer."
Reacting to Smith stepping aside, England captain Steph Houghton said: "I consider Kelly Smith to be England's best-ever player and feel honoured to have had her as a team-mate.
"She will be most definitely missed around camp. When I first came into the England set-up she was the first person to welcome me into the squad and has been someone I've really looked up as a player and as a person."
England head coach Sampson said: "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."