Manchester City captain Steph Houghton to retire at end of WSL season

Manchester City captain Steph Houghton has announced she will retire from playing at the end of this season.

Houghton, 35, began her career in 2002 with Sunderland, going on to play for Leeds United and then Arsenal before joining City in 2014.

The defender captained England from 2015 until her international retirement in 2021, making 121 appearances for her country.

“Taking the decision to retire, is such a difficult thing to do,” Houghton said in a statement. “Whilst age comes to every player, it makes it no easier having to say the words out loud. Football has been my life; my passion and I have loved the career I have had.

“I would like to thank every teammate I have ever played with; I have continued to learn every day and appreciate the support each has given me and the friendships I have made along the way.

“I will always be humbled to have made so many domestic appearances, to have captained my country and to have represented England and Team GB in so many international tournaments. I will always be very proud of everything that I have achieved in the game.”

Houghton won two Women’s Super League titles, two FA Cups and two League Cups with Arsenal, adding one WSL title, three FA Cups and four League Cups with City.

“The game has moved so quickly from amateur to professional over the last twenty years,” Houghton added. “I thank the trailblazers that came before me, for your perseverance and commitment to effecting change for my generation.

“I hope that I leave the game in a better place than when I started, and that I have contributed in some small way to giving the girls of tomorrow a better future in football.”

City and Houghton are still chasing their second WSL title and are behind leaders Chelsea only on goal difference with five matches remaining.


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(Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

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