Ex-Sunderland star relishing Wembley trip with Man City
Steph Houghton believes winning the SSE Women's FA Cup will rank alongside the best moments of her career so far.
The South Hetton-born defender is skipper of both Manchester City and England, and has won 85 caps for the national side.
She was also part of the Team GB side at London 2012, and scored the winner in the 1-0 victory over Brazil, a memory Houghton says is her finest at Wembley and was a defining moment in her footballing life.
However, the 29-year-old, who started her career at Sunderland, believes lifting the FA Cup with City will take its place among her greatest Wembley memories.
Houghton will lead City out in the final against Birmingham City on Saturday, and played in a 1-1 draw between the sides last week in the FA WSL 1 Spring Series.
“The one that I always hold high up in my memories is the one against Brazil for Team GB,” said Houghton, who has played for Nick Cushing’s City since 2014.
“To be there in front of 70,000 people and to score the winning goal was such a memorable night and a real turning point in my career.
“I think an FA Cup win will emulate that.
“At that stage in my career I was young and enjoying my football, and was maybe a little bit of an unknown.
“But now to be a captain of such a fantastic club, to play at Wembley and to know how hard we’ve worked over these three years to get to this final will make it a very special occasion if we do win it.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to play in front of big crowds, but the ones at Wembley have been by far the biggest.
“The night where we beat Brazil, the atmosphere was incredible and hopefully we can recreate that atmosphere by playing good football.”
For Manchester City, victory at Wembley could prove a historic occasion as they have not yet lifted the famous trophy.
And Houghton is desperate to help change all that, with the competition dear to her heart.
“The FA Cup, whether it’s women’s football or men’s football, is the one that everyone wants to win everybody wants to be part of, and it’s full of so many amazing memories, whether it’s women’s football or men’s football,” she added.
“That’s the competition you grow up watching, as a player it’s the one you want to tick off.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to win it twice with Arsenal, but the next step is to win it with Manchester City – hopefully it will be a very special day.”
Steph was speaking on behalf of Manchester City ahead of the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final. Kids Go Free to the May 13th Final and tickets are still available via TheFA.com/Tickets