OLYMPIAN Steph Houghton has scored another honour as her village championed her sporting success.
The Team GB footballer and Arsenal Ladies player was presented with an award by the community of South Hetton after a summer which saw her shoot to prominence during the London 2012 games.
The 24-year-old’s trophy is inscribed with the dedication “recognition of her courage and achievements” during the competition.
The left-back helped Team GB’s women to the quarter-finals of the football, where they lost 2-0 to Canada.
She became Team GB’s leading scorer during the tournament, scoring once in each of the three group games for Hope Powell’s side – and as a result she was named in the Team of the Tournament.
Steph said: “Obviously I was very proud and honoured to receive the award in front of all my friends and family.
“I found out on Saturday.
“It had been planned for a few weeks but it was a bit later than the village hoped because I had been very busy with football.
“I had no idea beforehand.
“It was my grandma who goes to the social club quite a lot who told me.
“They were pushing for a while to try and honour me with some sort of award and in the end they gave me this which I’m honoured to be awarded.”
Durham County and South Hetton Parish Councillor Robin Todd presented Steph with the award and spoke of her achievements in 2012 and the positive impact the success of her team and the player in her own right has had on the woman’s game.
He said: “For me it was the fact that for the first time women’s football was recognised. People hadn’t always taken it so seriously before – things will never be the same again.
“The evening was very well attended and that was in no small part down to the fact that Steph had put women’s football on centre stage and there was a huge surge of approval when that fact was mentioned.
“This is the first time in my many years as a councillor that I’ve ever known the demand within the community for some recognition to be given.”
The celebration followed on from a surprise party Steph’s friends and family held for her at the village’s cricket club held on her return to the region after the close of the games.
Steph was recently nominated as William Hill’s Sportswoman of the Year award, but was beaten to the top spot by heptathlete and fellow Olympian Jessica Ennis.