Steph Houghton, who retired from professional football following the conclusion of the 2023/24 campaign, says she can’t wait to support City from the stands next season.

In March, the former City captain announced her decision to hang up her boots after a 22-year senior career, 10 of which she spent playing in blue.

And the highest capped player for City Women, with 242 outings, is looking forward to sitting alongside fellow Cityzens to watch City compete in what she believes will be the most competitive Barclays Women’s Super League season.

“I think for me the girls know I’m going to be there supporting them, I won’t be able to stay away,” joked Houghton.

“I know that people will be like ‘oh you’re back already’ and I’ll be like ‘I know I am!’. I’ll be supporting the team as much as possible and 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.

“I think the WSL is going to be even more competitive next season,” continued Houghton.

“Obviously Emma Hayes was a great leader, a great coach and she’s had an unbelievable Chelsea career and knows her team, knows how to win, which is admirable.


“And to do that consistently is really impressive. So for us as a club of course we want to be up there, we want to be competing and there’ll probably be a few changes in the sense of players coming in, players coming out but I think we have a really good base that we can build on and we can take belief in that.”

Houghton has been a pioneer, role model and leader during her tenure in the WSL and international football.

And while she has expressed that she is not rushing into making any decisions on her future, the 36-year-old is excited to show off a different side to herself compared to Houghton, the captain, that fans are used to seeing on a matchday.

“That’s a tough one!”, said Houghton when asked who she feels Steph Houghton will be post-playing career.

“I’d like to think that in terms of leadership, I feel as though I could still potentially use some of the traits that I use in football in whatever capacity that could be.


“I feel as though I’d like to be a person that could be honest with people and to allow myself to kind of show my personality, my bubbly side, to be a bit more relaxed.

“So yeah, I think probably them things would be something I’d love to do, but also be someone that if I am working I still have that winning mentality.

“I want to be the best at everything I can do and that little bit of hard work and determination can go a long way, no matter what job that might be in the future.”