'The easiest decision I’ve ever made' - Steph Houghton extends Manchester City contract
Houghton made her return from a knee injury during the win over Brighton last weekend. The 33-year-old has won seven major trophies since joining Manchester City in 2013, and was awarded an MBE in 2016. The length of the extension has not been revealed. Gareth Taylor's side are currently fifth in the Women's Super League.
Manchester City's Steph Houghton applauds travelling fans after the Barclays FA Women's Super League match between Brighton & Hove Albion Women and Manchester City Women at The People's Pension Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Crawley, England.
“Once the talks started, there was only ever going to be one outcome and it was the easiest decision I’ve ever made, to commit my future to this football club and continue on this unbelievable journey.
“The eight years I’ve been here so far have flown by – when people say how long it is, I really can’t believe it! For me though, it’s always been about being at Manchester City and being a part of this club, for now and for the future.
“That’s why I wanted to commit – to really show my loyalty to my team, to my club and to everybody who has helped me along the way so far.”
Houghton joined Manchester City from Arsenal ahead of the 2014 WSL season.
She helped her club to the WSL title two years later, the defender's third overall.
“It’s been a really good week with me making my comeback from injury too – it’s been a really tough four months, but I’m just so happy to be back on the pitch now," added Houghton.
Manchester City manager Gareth Taylor hailed Houghton, who was awarded an MBE in 2016, as a positive influence on and off the pitch.
“We’re absolutely thrilled that Steph has committed her immediate future to City,” he said.
What she has contributed to this club and women’s football as a whole throughout her career so far is incredible – she is a true legend of the game in all senses of the word.
“Not only does she give everything she has on the pitch, she also maintains the highest level of commitment off it in terms of supporting her teammates and helping them to improve, and that sums up just how much of a consummate professional she is."
Victory over Brighton lifted Taylor's side, who have struggled particularly at the back in the absence of Houghton and Lionesses teammate Lucy Bronze, up to fifth in the WSL table.
They are nine points behind leaders Arsenal after ten league games.