Durham's Steph Houghton loses England captaincy for 2022 Women's EUROs

Steph Houghton has been England captain for eight years. Credit: PA Images

It has been confirmed that Steph Houghton, from Durham, will not continue in her role as England captain for the 2022 UEFA Women's EURO this summer.

The 33-year-old Manchester City player had been wearing the armband since 2014, but is currently suffering with an achilles injury.

Arsenal's Leah Williamson has been filling in for Houghton while she's been unable to play. It has been announced she will take the position of captain for the tournament this summer.

Houghton says captaining The Lionesses has been 'the greatest honour' of her life.

Williamson was told the news yesterday by head coach Sarina Wiegman on the first full day of the camp at St. George’s Park, with the rest of the squad informed later that evening.Millie Bright has been appointed the new vice-captain and Ellen White as the third in line.

Houghton has not played for England since February 2021 and is working hard on her return in a bid to be fit for this summer’s finals.

On Instagram, she said: "The past twelve months have been very difficult from a football perspective, in trying to overcome a number of injuries. Sarina and the England staff have been hugely supportive but with the injuries, I understand and respect Sarina’s decision to name a new captain."

She also said she gives her total support to Williamson, and continues, "For me, I don’t feel my England story is complete and I continue to work hard with my rehabilitation in trying to make the squad for this summer’s home European Championship. I am available for selection when fit and look forward to putting on an England shirt again."

Williamson, who led the team to success in the inaugural Arnold Clark Cup last month featuring Spain, Canada and Germany, said: "This is an incredibly proud moment for me and my family and I'm honoured to be asked to lead us at the EUROs. Steph Houghton is one of this country’s all-time greats and to follow in her footsteps – and all of those special names who have led the team in the past - means so much."

England are preparing for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 qualifiers against North Macedonia on Friday 8 April. 

Head coach Sarina Wiegman said: "This decision gives us continuity at this important final period as we build towards the tournament. It is important we give everyone clarity at this stage.

"She joins a proud list of England captains and will be following in the footsteps of the likes of the first captain Sheila Parker all the way through to Steph who have all been integral for the women’s game."