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Man City captain Houghton to retire from football

Manchester City Women captain Steph Houghton is retiring from football at the end of the season.

Houghton, who turns 36 in April, has won three Women’s Super League titles across her spells with Arsenal and City.

The defender also captained England and has 121 caps for her country, leading the Lionesses to third place at the 2015 World Cup.

“There is no easy way to say it, but I am retiring from football at the end of the current WSL season,” Houghton said in a statement.

“Taking the decision to retire is such a difficult thing to do. 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.”

Injury has blighted the latter stages of her career and led to Houghton missing out on Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses squad that won the Euros in 2022.

Steph Houghton was not included in England's Euro 2022-winning squad
Image: Houghton was not included in England’s Euro 2022-winning squad
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 19: Steph Houghton of Manchester City celebrates after the Barclays Womens Super League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on November 19, 2023 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Steph Houghton
Image: Houghton could end her 10-year spell at City with a second WSL title

Houghton has the chance to sign off in style, though, by helping her side to another league title this season – with City level on points with Chelsea at the top of the WSL table.

City head coach Gareth Taylor said: “Steph is – without question – an icon of the game. Although her professional career on the pitch is now coming to an end, her legacy will be felt for so many years to come. She’s paved the way for so many to thrive in the future.

“Steph has lived and breathed football for such a long time, and she leaves it in the strongest place it has ever been – a true testament to her leadership, hard work, talent, and dedication.

“I feel incredibly privileged to have been able to work with her since 2020 and know her name will be written into the history books as a true footballing great.

“Steph will excel in whatever she puts her mind to, and, on behalf of everyone here at Manchester City, I’d like to express our immense gratitude and wish Steph all the very best for the future.”

Sky News
(c) Sky Sports 2024:Source