England, Sunderland and Manchester City star Steph Houghton to be honoured
England and Manchester City star Steph Houghton is to be honoured for her football career, contribution to charities and for helping inspire the next generation.
Ex-Sunderland Ladies star Houghton, from South Hetton, will receive the North East Football Writers’ Association’s Annual Awards Personality of the Year trophy, which is given in association with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation to recognise someone who uses their position in football to benefit the wider community.The 31-year-old Manchester City captain, described by The Football Association as, “a role model in every sense,” will receive recognition for her off-the-field activities, which include official roles with the Professional Players Association, UEFA, The James Milner Foundation and the NSPCC.She will also be recognised for campaigning to end period poverty and for her great commitment to The Darby Rimmer MND Foundation, a charity launched after her husband, Stephen Darby, was diagnosed with the disease in 2018.
Houghton follows in the footsteps of Alan Shearer, who received the North East Personality of the Year trophy last year.
Speaking for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Lady Elsie says: “This is the sixth year we’ve helped the Football Writers’ Association choose a recipient for this award and Steph is the first woman to receive it. That seems very fitting given as she’s been such a pioneer in the women’s game.
“Steph has worked extremely hard to achieve her success and she’s also done so much to help others in that time. She’s a very worthy winner of this special award.”
In addition to the presentation, the North East Football Writers’ Association will be taking the opportunity at the awards night to pay tribute to the seven Lionesses who are from this region.
Chair of the Football Writers’ Association nationally, Carrie Brown, said: “Off the field, Steph has been an impeccable ambassador for the sport and the sport, in turn, has come out in support for Steph and her husband, former Liverpool player Stephen Darby.
"Stephen was diagnosed with motor neurone disease last year and, with his close friend Chris Rimmer, has set-up the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation in hope of finding a cure for the disease.
"I am delighted the North East branch of the FWA has recognised Steph, and all seven players from the region who represented the Lionesses in France last summer.
Appointed England captain in 2014, Steph has appeared at two World Cups and two European Championships, as well as starring for Team GB at London 2012. She is the most recent player to earn a century of England caps.
Tickets for the North East Football Writers' Association Awards are available from Claire Stephen at Ramside Hall Hotel (0191 375 3080/ [email protected]).