In profile: Ella Toone
Manchester United Women’s all-time record goalscorer and appearance maker also happens to be a massive Red.
“I used to play all sorts – I’ve never been able to sit still,” she told the matchday programme in 2019. “I used to play a bit of tennis – I was alright but I wasn’t an Andy Murray or anything – but football was always 100 per cent the number one.
“My mum was a gymnast when she was younger, and my other side of the family are all swimmers and water polo players, so we did that as well. But in school I did everything – table tennis, netball, cross country, tennis… honestly, everything!”
Ella spent seven years with the Reds’ youth teams before returning to United, via spells at Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City, in 2018 when the professional side was formed.
When the call came from Casey Stoney to join her squad that summer, Ella jumped at the chance to come back to the club she loves.
In that interview with club media during her first season, she spoke of her joy when the news came through that the Reds were to create a senior women’s side.
“I was so happy to hear it. I spent a long time with United’s girls, and was gutted to leave this club as all I ever wanted to do was to keep playing for United,” she said. “I didn’t get much game time at City, but obviously I was happy when they were doing well. United is my team, though – the team I’ve supported since I was little – and now I’m back here, to win a medal with United is something I always dreamed of growing up. It feels like we’re making history every day.”
The 22-year-old – who has drawn comparisons with Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller for her ability to find space – received her first international call-up in September 2020, making her debut for the national team in February 2021 and scoring a penalty in a 6-0 win over Northern Ireland, before going on to represent Team GB at last summer’s delayed Tokyo Olympics.
Last season saw Toone finish as our top scorer for the first time as she reached double figures, and there was no sign of slowing down at the start of 2021/22. Our no.7 was in electric form for both club and country, hitting her first senior international hat-trick for the Lionesses against Latvia in October 2021 and being named WSL Player of the Month in December, either side of signing a new contract running until June 2025.
Ahead of this month’s big day at Old Trafford, Ella’s featured in 24 of our 25 games this season, while continuing to establish herself in Sarina Wiegman’s England squad ahead of the home European Championship, which kicks off at Old Trafford on 6 July.
And how about this to emphasise her importance to the cause: since Manchester United Women were formed in 2018, Ella has played in every single one of the Reds’ 65 competitive victories.
A homegrown hero.