City Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has revealed a special mosaic honouring the career of Steph Houghton has been commissioned.

Houghton called time on her career in May after a record 242 appearances, bringing to a close a 10-year period at City which saw her win four Continental Cups, three FA Cups and one Women’s Super League title.    

The mosaic will be permanently installed at the brand-new purpose-built training facility the City Football Academy, a £10 million investment due for completion in 2025.    

“Steph has been a tremendous leader for our club, for the team,” the chairman said in his interview on Saturday 1 June. “She’s one of the most decorated players in England.   

“I think nothing but great appreciation that we have towards Steph for her contributions to the club. Thank you, Steph, for everything you’ve done for us. And delighted that you will always be part of this club. You are a legend. And a leader. And, as this women’s team and women’s football continues to evolve, I think your role in it will never be forgotten.    

“There’s going to be a special mosaic for Steph, in our new women’s team training facility. That will be unveiled soon and I’m very excited for Steph and of course, for our women’s team to have their new facilities.”   

City were narrowly pipped to the WSL title by Chelsea on goal difference and Al Mubarak said it was a cruel way to miss out on silverware.  

But he is excited about the development of the women’s team and how they continue to challenge for trophies.    

“Losing the league on goal difference on the last day of the season? It is a very painful thing,” the chairman said.  

“To get to that point where you effectively had the most points in the league but tied with another team and to lose on goal difference, the championship is a truly cruel, brutal way to lose.  

“Now again, the flip side of it, it shows you we have a wonderful team that went all the way and was just maybe an inch away from winning the league.   

“We have a great coach, a wonderful squad of players, very talented.  

“So I think, again a great season, nothing to take away from this group. They’ve done a phenomenal season.  

“A cruel end but a lot to be happy with, a lot to be proud of and certainly sets us up nicely for next year.”   

Meanwhile, the Chairman has spoken of his pride at continuing to celebrate the Club’s history with the unveiling of a statue to City legends Colin Bell, Francis Lee and Mike Summerbee from the great team of the 1960s and 1970s.  

The permanent tribute, created by renowned sculptor David Williams-Ellis, depicting three of Manchester City’s greatest players was unveiled at the Etihad Stadium back in November 2023, and has already established itself as a talking point for City fans – and opposition supporters – on matchdays.    

And Al Mubarak says: “It’s so important, this is the history of this club.    

“It’s a rich history. These three incredible players, but not just players, incredible people and their contributions to this club and the history of that, it’s so important to never forget that.

“And I think having this project come from concept idea to actually now being built and then seeing how the fans have responded to this has been wonderful.  

“Sheikh Mansour wanted to make sure that he supports the history of the club and that it’s a gift to the people of Manchester, to the fans of Manchester City, to the families of these three special individuals and a constant reminder that this is a club with a rich history and that we are custodians of this history and that what we do in every aspect, of our running of this club is in the best interest of everyone involved in this club in the city of Manchester.    

“Francis, I had the pleasure of meeting him many times and seeing him over the years, I think his loss is tremendous. But hopefully, this is a way for us all to remember Francis Lee and, his greatness.”  

As well as celebrating the past, the chairman is also delighted with the future of the Club.   

The success of the Academy continues and Khaldoon was delighted to see Ben Wilkinson’s under-18s win the FA Youth Cup at the Etihad Stadium with a 4-0 victory over Leeds United.   

“Very pleased to win 4-0 in the final, 20,000 people attended that game and that tells you everything,” he said.   

“I would say a very important trophy for us to have at the club, it shows our commitment, shows the talent we have, and continue to develop at the club.    

“You look at our record over the last, five, six, seven, 10 years, it’s pretty consistent in every age group. And that shows you we have, I think, a very strong system of talent development that continues to outperform in England and in Europe.”