Rachel Yankey breaks Peter Shilton's 125 England caps

Rachel Yankey has become England's most-capped international after starting against Japan on Wednesday.

The Arsenal Ladies midfielder overtook former men's goalkeeper Peter Shilton's 125-cap record, which was set in 1990, during the 1-1 draw in Burton.

Yankey, 33, captained England in their penultimate match ahead of July's Women's Euro 2013 in Sweden.

Rachel Yankey

  • Born: 1 November, 1979
  • Clubs: Arsenal, Fulham, Birmingham, New Jersey Wildcats
  • England caps: 126
  • England debut: v Scotland 1997

"To have my name mentioned in the same breath as Peter Shilton is an honour," she said. "It's been an special day."

Yankey, who was part of the Team GB squad that reached the quarter-finals of the 2012 Olympics in London, made her first England appearance in a 4-0 win against Scotland in 1997.

"I was astounded I got one cap and if I never played again then it would have been fantastic to get just that one cap," she said.

"It's amazing that I've won 126 caps, but I want to go on and play more and still improve."

Before the game, Yankey told BBC Sport: "My first international kit was an extra large men's kit, it was ridiculous. I was a little 17-year-old kid and I didn't care that you couldn't see any part of me, it was a big kit."

Yankey has netted 19 times for the Three Lions, has featured in two World Cups and is preparing for the third European Championship of her 16-year international career.

England's Euro 2013 Group C fixtures

  • 12 July: v Spain
  • 15 July: v Russia
  • 18 July: v France

"Rachel has been a tremendous ambassador for her country on and off the pitch and is rightly highly respected throughout the game at home and abroad," said Football Association chairman David Bernstein.

The game against world champions Japan at the Pirelli Stadium was watched by 4,500 school children, who have been able to access the game for free as part of the FA's 150th anniversary celebrations.

The England team prepared for the game by training at St George's Park, the FA's recently-opened centre of excellence.

Hope Powell's side travel to Sweden for a friendly against the Euro 2013 hosts on 4 July before beginning the tournament against Spain on 12 July.