England international Steph Houghton joined the Blues on New Years Day 2014 in the hope of advancing an already illustrious career.
Houghton turned professional at local club Sunderland Ladies before signing for Leeds United Ladies in 2007. The transfer was a successful one for the Durham-born left-back who was named the 2008 FA Women’s Young Player of the Year. In 2010, she also picked up a FA Women’s Cup winners medal with Leeds.
Although predominantly a left-sided defender, Houghton appeared in a variety of positions for the Lilywhites and her versatility attracted particular interest from Arsenal. She signed for the Gunners in August 2010, appearing 12 times and scoring twice during her time in North London. She then went on to lift the FA Women's Cup with the club as captain.
Houghton has represented her country at every level, totalling more than 50 appearances for England. Two serious injuries sabotaged her international career but in August 2012, she made a full recovery and became an integral part of her national team.
Representing Team GB at the Olympics, Houghton became a household name by scoring in all three group matches, including the winning goals against New Zealand and Brazil.
A rock for City throughout the 2014 season, she was awarded the captain's armband for her country and went on to become the first female to appear on the front cover of Shoot Magazine.
She also led the Three Lionesses to World Cup qualification, following a superb group stage campaign and her year was capped with a trophy lift as she skippered City to their first ever piece of silverware.