Steph Houghton

Last updated

Steph Houghton
Arsenal LFC v Kelly Smith All-Stars XI (189) (cropped).jpg
Houghton in 2017
Personal information
Full nameStephanie Jayne Houghton [1]
Date of birth (1988-04-23) 23 April 1988 (age 30)
Place of birth Durham, England [2]
Height 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in) [3]
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Manchester City
Number 6
Youth career
Sunderland A.F.C. Women
Senior career*
2002–2007 Sunderland Women
2007–2010 Leeds United Ladies 45 (9)
2010–2013 Arsenal Ladies 74 (11)
2014– Manchester City 74 (10)
National team
2008 England U19 4 (0)
2010 England U23 3 (0)
2007– England 103 (12)
2012– Great Britain 4 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 13:57, 12 December 2018 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23:07, 2 March 2019 (UTC)

Stephanie Jayne Houghton MBE ( /ˈhɔːtən/ ; born 23 April 1988) is an English footballer, who both plays for and captains Manchester City and the England women's national football team. [4] [5]

Association football team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

Manchester City W.F.C. English womens football club based in Manchester

Manchester City Women's Football Club are an English women's football club based in Manchester who play in the FA Women's Super League. They are affiliated with Manchester City F.C. who play in the Premier League.

The England women's national football team has been governed by the Football Association (FA) since 1993, having been previously administered by the Women's Football Association (WFA). England played its first international match in November 1972 against Scotland. Although most national football teams represent a sovereign state, as a member of the United Kingdom's Home Nations, England is permitted by FIFA statutes to maintain its own national side that competes in all major tournaments, with the exception of the Women's Olympic Football Tournament.


Since her debut in 2007, Houghton has played over 80 times for the England national team. She suffered serious injuries immediately before the 2007 World Cup and Euro 2009, but recovered to play in the 2011 World Cup and Euro 2013. She was made England captain in January 2014.

2007 FIFA Womens World Cup 2007 edition of the FIFA Womens World Cup

The 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup, the fifth edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup, was an international association football competition for women held in China from 10 to 30 September 2007. Originally, China was to host the 2003 edition, but the outbreak of SARS in that country forced that event to be moved to the United States. FIFA immediately granted the 2007 event to China, which meant that no new host nation was chosen competitively until the voting was held for the 2011 Women's World Cup.

UEFA Womens Euro 2009 2009 edition of the UEFA Womens Euro

The 2009 UEFA Women's Championship, or just Women's Euro 2009, was played in Finland between August 23 and September 10, 2009. The host was appointed on July 11, 2006, in a UEFA Executive Committee meeting in Berlin and the Finnish proposal won over the Dutch proposal.

2011 FIFA Womens World Cup 2011 edition of the FIFA Womens World Cup

The 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup was the sixth FIFA Women's World Cup competition, the world championship for women's national association football teams. It was held from 26 June to 17 July 2011 in Germany, which won the right to host the event in October 2007. Japan won the final against the United States on a penalty shoot-out following a 2–2 draw after extra time and became the first Asian team to win a senior FIFA World Cup.

Houghton came to prominence at the 2012 London Olympics, scoring three goals in Great Britain's four games, including winners against New Zealand and Brazil. At club level Houghton started at Sunderland in her native North East England before moving on to Leeds United in 2007 then Arsenal Ladies in 2010. An extremely versatile player, she broke into the Sunderland team as a striker before moving back into midfield and later into defence.

Football at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Womens tournament 2012 edition of the womens association football tournament during the Olympic Summer Games

The women's football tournament at the 2012 Summer Olympics was held in London and five other cities in the United Kingdom from 25 July to 9 August. Associations affiliated with FIFA were invited to enter their women's teams in regional qualifying competitions, from which 11 teams, plus the hosts Great Britain reached the final tournament. There are no age restrictions for the players participating in the tournament. It is the first major FIFA affiliated women's tournament to be staged within the United Kingdom, and marked the first time a team representing Great Britain took part in the women's tournament.

The New Zealand women's national football team, nicknamed the Football Ferns, is governed by New Zealand Football (NZF). The New Zealand national team qualified for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup, held in China in September 2007, sending the team to their first World Cup in 16 years, and the second since their 1975 debut in international competition.

The Brazil women's national football team played their first game on 22 July 1986 against the United States, losing 2–1.

Houghton was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to football. [6]

The New Year Honours 2016 were appointments by some of the 16 Commonwealth realms to various orders and honours to recognise and reward good works by citizens of those countries. The New Year Honours are awarded as part of the New Year celebrations at the start of January. The official lists of the 2016 New Year Honours for civilians and military were announced on 31 December.

Club career

Houghton began her career five years at Sunderland. [7] She helped Sunderland to win promotion from the Northern Division in 2005–06 and then won the FA Young Player of the Year Award in 2006–07. After Sunderland were relegated that season, Houghton became a target for Arsenal and Everton. [8] She eventually joined Leeds United Ladies. [8]

Everton L.F.C. womens football club based in Liverpool, England

Everton Ladies Football Club are a women's association football team from the city of Liverpool, who compete in the FA WSL 1, the first division of women's football in England. Formed in 1983 as Hoylake W.F.C., they are now part of Everton F.C. but play their home games at Haig Avenue in Southport. The team have won the Premier League National Division once, the Premier League Cup once, and the FA Women's Cup twice.

Leeds United L.F.C.

Leeds United Ladies Football Club are an English women's football club based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. They are currently members of the FA Women's National League Division One North.

After helping Leeds win the 2010 FA Women's Premier League Cup, Houghton signed for Arsenal in August of that year. [9]

In April 2012, Houghton was appointed as one of eight digital media ambassadors, one from each team, who wear their Twitter account name on their shirt sleeves to raise the profile of the WSL. [10]

On 5 December 2013 it was announced that Houghton had signed an agreement to leave Arsenal for new WSL side Manchester City on 1 January 2014. [11]

International career


Houghton was involved with England at U16 schools, U19, U20, U21 and U23 level. She was called into the full squad for a match against Germany on 25 October 2006, when Katie Chapman withdrew with an illness.[ citation needed ] She was an unused substitute in the 5–1 defeat in Aalen. [12]

Houghton captaining England against Montenegro in April 2014 Choice of Ends England Ladies v Montenegro 5 4 2014 153.jpg
Houghton captaining England against Montenegro in April 2014

Houghton made her debut in the next match, replacing Emily Westwood after 73 minutes of a 6–0 win over Russia in Milton Keynes on 8 March 2007. [13] Her first start came three days later, in a 1–0 win over Scotland at Adams Park. [14]

She missed the 2007 World Cup with a broken leg and Euro 2009 with a damaged cruciate ligament. [15]

In May 2009, Houghton was one of the first 17 female players to be given central contracts by The Football Association. [16]

Houghton played in all three games at UEFA Women's Euro 2013 as England finished in last place: "a massive disappointment personally and collectively as a squad." [17] In January 2014 she was named the new captain for England's team under coach Mark Sampson, beginning on a 1–1 draw with Norway. [18]

For the 2015 World Cup in Canada, Houghton was again named England's team captain. [19] Houghton scored her first World Cup goal against Norway in the round of 16, [20] and was chosen Player of the Match during the quarterfinals with Canada, which qualified England for their first semi-finals ever. [21]

Houghton earned her 100th England Cap on 11 November 2018 against Sweden at New York Stadium in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. [22] [23]

Team GB

Houghton was called up to the first Great Britain women's side for the 2012 Summer Olympics as a defender. She became the team's record goalscorer from the left–back position, scoring in all three group games to help Great Britain to win the group with a 100% record, as well as making important challenges to help ensure the side progressed without conceding a goal. Houghton was also named left back of the tournament due to her outstanding performance during the games. [24]

Career statistics


As of match played 27 February 2019
ClubSeasonLeagueCupLeague CupContinentalTotal
Sunderland 2002–03 FA WPL Northern
2005–06 FA WPL National
Leeds United
('Leeds Carnegie' from 2008)
2007–08 FA WPL National
Arsenal 2011 FA WSL
Manchester City 2014 FA WSL 1302071221
2015 1121061183
2016 152304020242
2017 50410030121
2017–18 152107081313
2018–19 163216000244
Career total

International goals

For England
Scores and results list England's goal tally first.
1.5 March 2009 GSZ Stadium, Larnaca, CyprusFlag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 4–06–0 2009 Cyprus Cup
2.22 September 2011 County Ground, Swindon, EnglandFlag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia 3–04–0 Euro 2013 qualifying
3.31 March 2012Sajmište, Vrbovec, CroatiaFlag of Croatia.svg  Croatia 5–06–0
5.20 October 2012 Stade Sébastien Charléty, Paris, FranceFlag of France.svg  France 1–02–2Friendly
6.6 March 2013 GSP Stadium, Nicosia, CyprusFlag of Italy.svg  Italy 2–24–2 2013 Cyprus Cup
7.14 June 2014 Traktar Stadium, Minsk, BelarusFlag of Belarus.svg  Belarus 2–03–0 2015 World Cup qualifying
8.22 June 2015 Lansdowne Stadium, Ottawa, CanadaFlag of Norway.svg  Norway 1–12–1 2015 World Cup
9.25 October 2016 Estadio Pedro Escartín, Guadalajara, SpainFlag of Spain.svg  Spain 2–02–1Friendly
10.24 November 2017 Bescot Stadium, Walsall, EnglandFlag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia and Herzegovina 1–04–0 2019 World Cup qualifying
12.2 March 2019 Nissan Stadium, Nashville, United StatesFlag of the United States.svg  United States 1–12–2 2019 SheBelieves Cup
For Great Britain
Scores and results list Great Britain's goal tally first.
125 July 2012 Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 1–0 2012 Olympic Games
228 July 2012 Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Flag of Cameroon.svg  Cameroon 3–0 2012 Olympic Games
331 July 2012 Wembley Stadium, London Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 1–0 2012 Olympic Games


Houghton (right) with Ellen White and the FA WSL trophy Ellen White and Steph Houghton.JPG
Houghton (right) with Ellen White and the FA WSL trophy


Manchester City


In October 2014, Houghton made history by becoming the first female player to be on the cover of Shoot magazine. [25]

Personal life

Houghton is married to former Bolton Wanderers defender Stephen Darby. They married on 21 June 2018. On 18 September 2018, Darby announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 29 after being diagnosed with motor neuron disease. [26]

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  2. Alan Hubbard (22 May 2011). "Houghton is football's Jill of all trades". The Independent . Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  3. 2015 World Cup
  4. "Stephanie Houghton". The FA. Archived from the original on 31 July 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  5. "Stephanie Houghton". Soccer Way. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  6. "No. 61450". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 2015. p. N20.
  7. "Steph Houghton: England star, role model, leader". BBC Sport. 5 June 2015.
  8. 1 2 "Young star Steph joins Leeds". 30 July 2007.
  9. "Houghton and Nobbs join Arsenal". UEFA. 1 August 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2010.
  10. "Women's Super League launches Twitter kit initiative to raise profile". BBC Sport. 4 April 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  11. "Steph Houghton signs for City". 5 December 2013.
  12. "Germany Women 5–1 England Women". BBC. 25 October 2006. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  13. "England Women 6–0 Russia Women". BBC. 8 March 2007. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  14. "England Women 1–0 Scotland Women". BBC. 11 March 2007. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
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  17. Moore, Leigh (29 August 2013). "Houghton's Euro pain eased by Arsenal form". BT Sport . Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  18. Wilson, Scott (19 January 2014). "North-Easterner Houghton expresses pride at captaining England". The Northern Echo . Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  19. Lavery, Glenn (11 May 2015). "England squad named for FIFA Women's World Cup". The Football Association . Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  20. "England comeback sinks former champs". FIFA. 22 June 2015. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  21. "ENGLAND 2–1 CANADA". FIFA. 27 June 2015.
  24. "Triple goal scorer Steph Houghton 'bends like Beckham'". BBC Sport. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  25. Glenda Cooper (9 July 2015). "Steph Houghton: 'I'm still getting used to being recognised in Topshop'". The Daily Telegraph.
  26. "Stephen Darby: Motor neurone disease diagnosis forces Bolton full-back to retire". BBC Sport. 18 September 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.