Steph Houghton

Stephanie Jayne Houghton MBE (/ˈhɔːtən/; born 23 April 1988) is an English footballer who both plays for and captains Manchester City and the England national team.[3]

Since her debut in 2007, Houghton has played over 100 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.

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.

Houghton was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to football.[4]

Steph Houghton
Arsenal LFC v Kelly Smith All-Stars XI (189) (cropped)
Houghton in 2017
Personal information
Full name Stephanie Jayne Houghton[1]
Date of birth 23 April 1988 (age 31)[1]
Place of birth Durham, England[2]
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.74 m)[1]
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Manchester City
Number 6
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2007 Sunderland
2007–2010 Leeds United 45 (9)
2010–2013 Arsenal 74 (11)
2014– Manchester City 81 (10)
National team
2008 England U19 4 (0)
2010 England U23 3 (0)
2007– England 106 (12)
2012– Great Britain 4 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23:40, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 01:20, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

Club career

Houghton began her career playing for five years at Sunderland.[5] 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.[6] She eventually joined Leeds United Ladies.[6]

After helping Leeds win the 2010 FA Women's Premier League Cup, Houghton signed for Arsenal in August of that year.[7]

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.[8]

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.[9]

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. She was an unused substitute in the 5–1 defeat in Aalen.[10]

Choice of Ends England Ladies v Montenegro 5 4 2014 153
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.[11] Her first start came three days later, in a 1–0 win over Scotland at Adams Park.[12]

She missed the 2007 World Cup with a broken leg and Euro 2009 with a damaged cruciate ligament.[13]

In May 2009, Houghton was one of the first 17 female players to be given central contracts by The Football Association.[14]

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."[15] 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.[16]

For the 2015 World Cup in Canada, Houghton was again named England's team captain.[17] Houghton scored her first World Cup goal against Norway in the round of 16,[18] and was chosen Player of the Match during the quarterfinals with Canada, which qualified England for their first semi-finals ever.[19]

Houghton earned her 100th England Cap on 11 November 2018 against Sweden at New York Stadium in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.[20][21]

In May 2019 it was announced that Houghton had been selected for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France.[22] She scored a goal in the Round of 16 match against Cameroon.[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
Club Season League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
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 13 0 2 0 7 1 22 1
2015 11 2 1 0 6 1 18 3
2016 15 2 3 0 4 0 2 0 24 2
2017 5 0 4 1 0 0 3 0 12 1
2017–18 15 2 1 0 7 0 8 1 31 3
2018–19 16 3 2 1 6 0 0 0 24 4
Total 75 9 13 2 30 2 13 1 131 14
Career total

International goals

For England
Scores and results list England's goal tally first.
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 5 March 2009 GSZ Stadium, Larnaca, Cyprus  South Africa 4–0 6–0 2009 Cyprus Cup
2. 22 September 2011 County Ground, Swindon, England  Slovenia 3–0 4–0 Euro 2013 qualifying
3. 31 March 2012 Sajmište, Vrbovec, Croatia  Croatia 5–0 6–0
4. 6–0
5. 20 October 2012 Stade Sébastien Charléty, Paris, France  France 1–0 2–2 Friendly
6. 6 March 2013 GSP Stadium, Nicosia, Cyprus  Italy 2–2 4–2 2013 Cyprus Cup
7. 14 June 2014 Traktar Stadium, Minsk, Belarus  Belarus 2–0 3–0 2015 World Cup qualifying
8. 22 June 2015 Lansdowne Stadium, Ottawa, Canada  Norway 1–1 2–1 2015 World Cup
9. 25 October 2016 Estadio Pedro Escartín, Guadalajara, Spain  Spain 2–0 2–1 Friendly
10. 24 November 2017 Bescot Stadium, Walsall, England  Bosnia and Herzegovina 1–0 4–0 2019 World Cup qualifying
11. 3–0
12. 2 March 2019 Nissan Stadium, Nashville, United States  United States 1–1 2–2 2019 SheBelieves Cup
13. 23 June 2019 Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes, France  Cameroon 1–0 3–0 2019 World Cup
For Great Britain
Scores and results list Great Britain's goal tally first.


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

Leeds United


Manchester City[25]


In popular culture

In October 2014, Houghton made history by becoming the first female player to be on the cover of Shoot magazine.[31]

Personal life

Houghton is married to former Bolton Wanderers defender Stephen Darby.[32] They married on 21 June 2018.[33] On 18 September 2018, Darby announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 29 after being diagnosed with motor neuron disease.[32]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015: List of players: England" (PDF). FIFA. 6 July 2015. p. 10. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  2. ^ Alan Hubbard (22 May 2011). "Houghton is football's Jill of all trades". The Independent. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  3. ^ "Stephanie Houghton". The FA. Archived from the original on 31 July 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  4. ^ "No. 61450". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 2015. p. N20.
  5. ^ "Steph Houghton: England star, role model, leader". BBC Sport. 5 June 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Young star Steph joins Leeds". 30 July 2007.
  7. ^ a b "Houghton and Nobbs join Arsenal". UEFA. 1 August 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2010.
  8. ^ "Women's Super League launches Twitter kit initiative to raise profile". BBC Sport. 4 April 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  9. ^ "Steph Houghton signs for City". 5 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Germany Women 5–1 England Women". BBC. 25 October 2006. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  11. ^ "England Women 6–0 Russia Women". BBC. 8 March 2007. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  12. ^ "England Women 1–0 Scotland Women". BBC. 11 March 2007. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  13. ^ Leighton, Tony (14 May 2009). "Steph Houghton rejoins England squad after two years of injury agony". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 29 July 2009.
  14. ^ "England Women awarded contracts". BBC Sport. 10 January 2010. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  15. ^ Moore, Leigh (29 August 2013). "Houghton's Euro pain eased by Arsenal form". BT Sport. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  16. ^ Wilson, Scott (19 January 2014). "North-Easterner Houghton expresses pride at captaining England". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  17. ^ Lavery, Glenn (11 May 2015). "England squad named for FIFA Women's World Cup". The Football Association. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  18. ^ "England comeback sinks former champs". FIFA. 22 June 2015. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  19. ^ "ENGLAND 2–1 CANADA". FIFA. 27 June 2015.
  20. ^ Garry, Tom (11 November 2018). "England Women 0-2 Sweden Women: Lionesses lose in skipper Steph Houghton's 100th cap". BBC Sport.
  21. ^ Taylor, Louise (10 November 2018). "Stage set for England to honour 'humble, brilliant' Steph Houghton". The Guardian.
  22. ^ Sport, Telegraph (23 May 2019). "England Women's World Cup 2019 squad: Team updates, fixtures, injury news and more". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  23. ^ "England beat Cameroon to reach quarter-finals amid VAR drama". Guardian. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  24. ^ "Triple goal scorer Steph Houghton 'bends like Beckham'". BBC Sport. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  25. ^ a b "S. Houghton". Soccerway. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  26. ^ Leighton, Tony (12 March 2009). "England women win Cyprus Cup". The Guardian.
  27. ^ Leighton, Tony (13 March 2013). "Rachel Yankey volley earns England women their second Cyprus Cup title". The Guardian.
  28. ^ Lavery, Glenn (11 March 2015). "England 1-0 Canada: Cyprus Cup final match report". The Football Association.
  29. ^ "Match for third place - Match report" (PDF). FIFA. 4 July 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  30. ^ "England record statement win over Japan to clinch prestigious SheBelieves Cup". The Football Association. 5 March 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  31. ^ Glenda Cooper (9 July 2015). "Steph Houghton: 'I'm still getting used to being recognised in Topshop'". The Daily Telegraph.
  32. ^ a b "Stephen Darby: Motor neurone disease diagnosis forces Bolton full-back to retire". BBC Sport. 18 September 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  33. ^ "Disease forces Stephen Darby to quit football at 29". Metro Newspaper UK. Retrieved 1 May 2019.

External links

2011 FA WSL

The 2011 FA WSL was the inaugural season of the FA WSL, the top-level women's football league of England. The season began on 13 April 2011 and ended on 28 August 2011. The league also took a break between 12 May and mid-July to allow preparation for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.Arsenal won the competition, their eighth consecutive English title, Birmingham finished second. The second entry to the UEFA Women's Champions League was supposed to be given to the FA Women's Cup winner, on 6 December 2011 however it was announced that Birmingham as runners-up were given the spot.

2014 Manchester City W.F.C. season

The 2014 season is Manchester City Women's Football Club's 26th season of competitive football and its first season in the FA Women's Super League and at the top level of English women's football, having been promoted from the FA Women's Premier League.In September, the team made club history by reaching their first ever cup final, beating Chelsea to reach the final of the FA WSL Cup. Drawn against Arsenal, they won 1–0 to lift the first major honour in their history.

2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Group F

Group F of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup consisted of France, England, Colombia and Mexico. Matches were played from 9 to 17 June 2015.

2015 FIFA Women's World Cup knockout stage

The knockout stage of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup began on 20 June and ended with the final match on 5 July 2015. A total of 16 teams competed in this knockout stage.

2017 Manchester City W.F.C. season

The 2017 season is Manchester City Women's Football Club's 29th season of competitive football and its fourth season in the FA Women's Super League and at the top level of English women's football, having been promoted from the FA Women's Premier League before the 2014 season.Following a reorganisation of top-level women's football in England, the 2017 season will only cover half of a traditional season's length, with the league season only running to nine games total, while the FA WSL shifts its calendar to match the traditional autumn-to-spring axis of football in Europe. For the same reason, there is no Champions League qualification nor relegation to be competed for.

2018–19 FA WSL

The 2018–19 FA WSL was the eighth edition of the FA Women's Super League (WSL) since it was formed in 2010. It was the first season after a rebranding of the four highest levels in English women's football. The previous FA WSL 2 is now the Championship – eleven clubs are competing in the 2018–19 FA Women's Championship.

Arsenal won their first WSL since 2012 with a 4–0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion.

2019 FIFA Women's World Cup Group D

Group D of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup took place from 9 to 19 June 2019. The group consisted of Argentina, England, Japan and Scotland. The top two teams, England and Japan, advanced to the round of 16.

2019 FIFA Women's World Cup knockout stage

The knockout stage of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup was the second and final stage of the competition, following the group stage. It began on 22 June with the round of 16 and ended on 7 July with the final match, held at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Décines-Charpieu. A total of 16 teams (the top two teams from each group, along with the four best third-placed teams) advanced to the knockout stage to compete in a single-elimination style tournament.All times listed are local, CEST (UTC+2).

Captain (association football)

The team captain of an association football team, sometimes known as the skipper, is a team member chosen to be the on-pitch leader of the team: it is often one of the older/or more experienced members of the squad, or a player that can heavily influence a game or have good leadership qualities. The team captain is usually identified by the wearing of an armband.

Durham Sixth Form Centre

Durham Sixth Form Centre is a mixed sixth form located in Durham, County Durham, England.It is a community sixth form provision administered by Durham County Council. The centre is located middle of Durham City Centre, but enrols students from across County Durham, Sunderland and into Northumberland.Durham Sixth Form Centre offers a range of A-levels and BTECs as programmes of study for students.

England women's national football team

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.

England have qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup five times, reaching the quarter-finals on three occasions; in 1995, 2007, and 2011, finishing third in 2015 and fourth in 2019. They reached the final of the UEFA Women's Championship in 1984 and 2009.

Great Britain women's Olympic football team

The Great Britain women's Olympic football team (also known as Team GB; or occasionally Great Britain and Northern Ireland) represents the United Kingdom in the women's football tournament at the Olympic Games. Normally, no team represents the whole of the United Kingdom in women's football, as separate teams compete for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the World Cup and the European Championship.

Women's football was introduced to the Olympic Games in 1996, but Great Britain did not enter the football events at this time. This changed when the 2012 Summer Olympics were hosted by London, as an Olympic football team was created to take the automatic qualifying place of the host nation. Following an agreement between the British Olympic Association (BOA) and The Football Association (FA), which operates the England team, the FA selected the British team, which could include players from across the United Kingdom. The team reached the quarter-finals, losing to Canada.

FIFA stated that they would not allow entry of a British team in future Olympics unless all four Home Nations agreed. No agreement was reached ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics, but a deal was formed for the 2020 tournament. Great Britain has qualified for that tournament, as England has secured one of the top three places among European teams at the 2019 World Cup.

Manchester City W.F.C.

Manchester City Women's Football Club (formerly Manchester City Ladies F.C.) 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.

PFA Merit Award

The Professional Footballers' Association Merit Award (often called the PFA Merit Award, or simply the Merit Award) is an award given by the Professional Footballers' Association (the PFA) for meritorious service to football.The award was first given in 1974, and was won (jointly) by Bobby Charlton and Cliff Lloyd. The latest winner of the award is Cyrille Regis.


Steph is often a short form of the masculine given name Stephen and its other variants, or the feminine given name Stephanie.

The FA Women's Football Awards

The FA Women's Football Awards is an award ceremony hosted by The Football Association in England. The inaugural edition took place in 1999.

UEFA Women's Euro 2013 Group C

Group C of the UEFA Women's Euro 2013 consisted of England, France, Russia and Spain. Matches were staged in Linköping and Norrköping from 12–18 July 2013.

France won the group and advanced to the knockout stage along with group runners-up Spain. Russia finished in third place with an equal number of points as Group A's Denmark, but the Russian team was eliminated in a drawing of lots to determine which of the two teams would advance as one of the best third-placed teams. England finished bottom of the group and so was also eliminated from the tournament.

UEFA Women's Euro 2017 Group D

Group D of UEFA Women's Euro 2017 contained England, Portugal, Scotland and Spain. The matches were played from 19 to 27 July 2017.

# Date Venue Opponent Result Competition
1 25 July 2012 Millennium Stadium, Cardiff  New Zealand 1–0 2012 Olympic Games
2 28 July 2012 Millennium Stadium, Cardiff  Cameroon 3–0 2012 Olympic Games
3 31 July 2012 Wembley Stadium, London  Brazil 1–0 2012 Olympic Games
Manchester City W.F.C. – current squad
FA Women's Young Player of the Year
International tournaments


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