Captain Katy Mclean hailed matchwinner Emily Scarratt as "a phenomenal player" after England won the Women's World Cup with victory over Canada in Paris.
England's 21-9 success was secured by 16 points from centre Scarratt, including a superb late solo touchdown, and a try by full-back Danielle Waterman.
It secured a first world title since 1994 and ended a run of three successive World Cup final defeats, all against New Zealand.
"She's a phenomenal player, world-class, and world-class players do the world-class things. She absolutely delivered for England," Mclean told Sky Sports 4.
"That group of girls and staff deserve everything we've got today.
"We've worked so hard for this, and there are so many great legends that have gone before us that haven't won in an England shirt, and that's for all of them who are here today.
"This is all about the England rugby family. It's amazing.
"It started years ago with the people that have brought us here, our family and friends. We've had to work today - Canada were fantastic - and it's amazing to think we've done it."
England head coach Gary Street admitted it was "a huge relief" to have captured the trophy following three losses in finals from 2002 to 2010.
"It feels a bit like a dream," he said. "It's quite surreal, and I think I will wake up in a minute!
"It's a pretty amazing feeling, and I am just so proud of everyone involved. It's a really special group. We've been on a long journey, but to have that trophy makes it worthwhile.
"The support we've had has been amazing, and it's a huge relief to be able to deliver. Huge credit to Canada as well. I thought that they were excellent and made it extremely tough for us."
Canada had the consolation of seeing their wing and goalkicker Magali Harvey being named women's player of the year, and skipper Kelly Russell said: "It was a big physical effort, and I'm so proud of the girls. They put everything they had into it.
"All credit to England. They were the better team today."
Tributes quickly flowed to the England side, whose triumph comes 11 years after the men's team were crowned world champions following a dramatic victory over Australia in Sydney.
Minister for Sport Helen Grant said: "Congratulations to the fantastic England women's rugby team and all their support staff on becoming world champions. They have made the nation proud.
"I am sure they have inspired many women and girls to get involved in the sport, and I know the RFU (Rugby Football Union) will be working hard to build on this success."
England's 2003 World Cup heroes Lawrence Dallaglio and Richard Hill were among many past and present international stars to praise the achievement of Mclean, Scarratt and company.
"Fantastic result for @EnglandRugby women, and well-deserved after all the hard work! What an inspirational team!!!" former England captain Dallaglio said on Twitter.
His former back-row colleague Richard Hill tweeted: "Congratulations ladies @EnglandRugby. A proud day. I'm sure Tuesday training sessions feel worth it now!!!"
Iain Balshaw, another 2003 squad member, said on Twitter: "Huge congrats to the women's @EnglandRugby team. Cracking game of rugby!"
And there were also tributes on Twitter from current England stars Mike Brown, Danny Care and Tom Croft.
"Congrats @EnglandRugby women!! World Cup winners, brilliant!!" full-back Brown said.
Scrum-half Care tweeted: "Massive congratulations to the @EnglandRugby women! World champions!! Enjoy the celebrations!!"
And flanker Croft said: "Congratulations @EnglandRugby women on winning the #WRWC2014, legends!!! Have a great night!!!!"