jill scott lionesses
Jill Scott in action for England against Montenegro. Photo: James Boyes

A tireless worker, astute organiser and influential personality on and off the pitch, Jill Scott bossed the midfield for club and country for over fifteen years, culminating in a glorious swansong at the 2022 Women’s European Championship.

Born and bred in Sunderland, Jill kicked off her senior career at her hometown club. The Lasses were promoted to the National Division in her first season at Eppleton Colliery, and the rangy teenager soon began to turn heads in the top flight, becoming a firm fixture in the England U19 side and winning plaudits for her early performances.

Brent Hills, then England Women U23 coach, predicted big things for the 18-year-old. “She is a physically imposing player who has the potential to develop into a senior international in future years if she works hard to develop her all round game.”

Scott’s talents were in demand by the end of the season. She ultimately chose league runners-up Everton. Jill collected consecutive runner-up medals in the next four seasons as the Blues finished second to a dominant Arsenal side.

However, Jill did enjoy cup success in the North West, featuring in Everton’s Women’s Premier League Cup triumph over the Gunners in 2008, and playing every minute of their dramatic extra-time win over the same opposition in the 2010 Women’s FA Cup final.

Jill Scott playing for Manchester City. Photo: Granada

By the time Scott left Everton for Manchester City in 2013, she had established herself as one of the country’s leading central midfielders, becoming a mainstay in the Lionesses engine room.

“An all-time great, Jill has been a wonderful ambassador. Not just for the England team – to which she has given incredible service – but also English football in general.”

Baroness Sue Campbell

In 2007, at the age of 20, she came off the bench to make her Women’s World Cup debut against Japan: she played every minute of England’s tournament thereafter. In the 2009 Women’s EURO semi-final, she memorably came off the bench to power England past the Netherlands, her extra-time header securing a place in the final.

Scott remained a key player for the Lionesses, featuring prominently in five consecutive tournaments and earning a bronze medal at the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

At domestic level, Scott helped take Manchester City to the next level. In her first season, City lifted their first major silverware, beating Arsenal in the WSL Cup. It marked the start of a golden era for both Scott and City, winning two more WSL Cups, three Women’s FA Cups and that previously elusive league title in the space of six years.

Her impact during this period was keenly felt by teammates and coaches alike.

Fellow midfielder Izzy Christiansen described playing alongside her as “the most enjoyable years of my career”. Boldon CA alumni Steph Houghton said she’d “have Jill in whatever team I play in because I appreciate all the dirty work she does that people probably don’t really recognise.” Former coach Nick Cushing, who oversaw City’s golden era, credited Scott as one of the senior players who helped him by taking on more responsibility within the squad.

“It will be hard to imagine an England squad without her as she has been an icon of the team for so long.”

Sarina Wiegman

Towards the twilight of her playing career, Scott remained an influential figure in the dressing room. She won her 150th international cap in 2021, laying on an assist in a 6-0 win over Northern Ireland, and was called up to the Lionesses squad by Sarina Wiegman one year later to feature at her tenth consecutive major tournament (including appearances at the 2012 and 2021 Olympic Games).

Jill Scott with cap
Jill Scott with one of the Lionesses caps she has donated to the museum’s Football Heritage Collection.

The 35-year-old made three substitute appearances en route to the 2022 WEURO final, stepping off the bench in both the quarter and semi-finals to shore up the Lionesses’ lead in the closing stages. The veteran midfielder introduced in the dying minutes of the final against Germany, adding bite and energy to the midfield as the game approached extra time. A fiery confrontation with opposing midfielder Sydney Lohmann in those dying minutes encapsulated the intensity and dedication that Jill had brought to the game, both at Wembley and throughout her career.

Chloe Kelly’s late winner ensured that Scott’s 161st and final appearance for the Lionesses was a fitting goodbye for one of the nation’s most beloved players.

Clubs: Sunderland, Everton, Manchester City, Aston Villa

Caps: 161 (27 goals); 9 appearances for Team GB (1 goal)

Major Honours: 1 WEURO, 1 WSL title, 4 Women’s FA Cups, 3 WSL Cups

Inducted: 2023

Jill Scott

Lionesses centurion, Manchester City midfielder and national icon.

Vincent Kompany

Manchester City skipper and an all-time Premier League great.

Jack Leslie

Plymouth Argyle sensation and the first Black player to receive an England call-up.

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