Steph Houghton has thanked City fans for their support in the final days of her playing career.

The City captain hangs up her boots this summer after an incredible decade of service at the Joie Stadium.

Her final appearance came as a second half substitute in Saturday’s bittersweet 2-1 victory at Aston Villa.


Although we did all we could on the day, Chelsea thrashed Manchester United 6-0 to win the Barclays Women’s Super League title on goal difference.

Houghton got a fitting reception from fans of both sides at Villa Park as she made her way on to the pitch and was visibly emotional as the final whistle sounded.

“It will take a while for that to sink in,” she said.

“The moment I was out on the pitch there, I got goosebumps and gave it everything for 30 minutes.

“These fans came in their thousands today. It’s a big weekend for the Club so they didn’t have to come and see us but that’s what this Club is about. We’re all one team. Hopefully they can support us next season as well.

“I need a bit of a break. I’m mentally a little tired. The emotion came out at the end but it’s been an unbelievable ride.

“The whole idea is to stay here as long as possible in whatever capacity. It’s not a goodbye, it’s more of a see you later!”

Houghton’s time on the pitch has been limited in this campaign but boss Gareth Taylor has been keen to stress the impact she has had in the dressing room.

The defender is obviously disappointed not to end with a second title, but says the players gave it their all.

“We’ve really pushed this season and done everything the manager has asked of us,” she said.

“The team have been together and those of us that have not been playing have supported those on the pitch.

“It does come down to fine margins in this league but ultimately, congratulations to Chelsea. I’m excited for what’s next for this team.”

Houghton also gave a special mention to Demi Stokes.

The left-back has been at City for the vast majority of Houghton’s time in Manchester but will be moving on this summer.

“I think she goes under the radar in terms of what she’s done for this Club,” said Houghton.

“She came in in our second season and I know for a fact she’s the best left-back this league has seen as a one-v-one defender. For young girls coming through, if you want to look up to someone, it’s Demi Stokes.”