MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 23: Steph Houghton of Manchester City looks on prior to the Barclays Women's Super League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on March 23, 2024 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) NOTE: WSL Full-Time uses images provided by the following image agencies via OneFootball: Getty Images (

Club legend Houghton keen to continue affiliation with Manchester City

Manchester City legend Steph Houghton says that she is keen to continue her affiliation with the club after retirement.

The 36-year-old centre-back hung up her boots at the end of the season, bringing the curtain down on a glittering senior career. Houghton enjoyed a little over a decade of her career with Manchester City.

When speaking to the media just days after her retirement, Houghton said that she hopes to maintain a strong connection with Manchester City and that she would like to continue her influence on the club.

“Yeah, hopefully [I can still be connected with the club],” Houghton told WSL Full-Time. “We are having a lot of really good conversations with Manchester City.

“When I first joined the club, the plan was always for me to end my career here and still have that affiliation and influence, whatever that might be. Conversations are happening and obviously, everybody knows how much I love the football club, what it’s done for me in the last 10 years, so it would be a shame if I didn’t have anything to do with the club. I’m sure that conversation and whatever that looks like will happen in the next couple of weeks or months.”

Houghton is one of 17 current and former players from the women’s professional game that started a UEFA A-Licence course last week. Her former Manchester City teammates Karen Bardsley, Izzy Christiansen and Sandy MacIver have also enrolled on the course. While coaching provides a future career opportunity for Houghton, she is keeping open-minded when it comes to her options.

She said “I did my B licence over Christmas and I just started my A licence on Monday.

“For me, I think I’m just looking at this situation as I’ve got an opportunity to do the badge and I want to keep learning. It’s just an option at this moment in time; I think I’d rather be able to get it done while I can. I haven’t really got a burning desire to be on the pitch and coach, it’s not really one [specific] thing that I want to do.

“When I’ve spoken to players that have retired recently and former players, a lot of the advice that I got was to leave my options open and really find what I want to do. That’s in the back of my mind that I don’t want to kind of close myself off to a lot of things by going down that coaching route. While I can, I want to get the badge done but also, do other things as well.”

Regardless of what the future holds for Houghton, one thing is crystal clear; she will always be a Manchester City fan and will be backing the team every step of the way from the stands.

She said “The girls know I’m going to be there [at The Joie Stadium] supporting them, I won’t be able to stay away. I know that people will be like ‘oh, you’re back already’ and I’ll be like ‘I know I am’, so I know I’ll be supporting the team as much as possible, supporting the men’s team too. I think it’s important that you do come back and see how the club are doing. I’ll be their biggest supporter and they know that I’m always there if they need me.”

Houghton ended her Manchester City playing career having made 242 appearances in all competitions, a club record. She has cemented her place in history as one of The Cityzens’ club icons.

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