Houghton, Lee and Law named in New Year's Honours List
- 30 December 2015 22:30
- Posted by @dclayton_mcfc
City Women skipper Steph Houghton and greats Francis Lee and Denis Law have been honoured by the Her Majesty the Queen in the New Year’s Honours list.
Houghton, who will receive the MBE, captained the Blues to second spot in the FA Women’s Super League – and a first qualification to the UEFA Women’s Champions League – during 2015 also skippered England Women to a best-ever finish of third place at last summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Houghton, 27, joined City from Arsenal in 2014 and has helped raise the profile of women’s football in England to unprecedented levels.
She has won 62 caps for her country and a further five representing Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Houghton, understandably thrilled to be honoured, said: “I'm delighted to be awarded an MBE. I was hugely surprised because it's a massive honour.
“Of course, it's been a huge year for women's football and to be recognised as an individual in a team sport is very humbling.
“I have to give huge thanks to my managers and teammates - both for my fantastic club City and to everyone involved with England.
“I'm also grateful to my boyfriend, my family and friends - they have all supported me throughout my career.
“As I said, it's been a fantastic year. The England team had a brilliant World Cup campaign and City had a great season too.
“Hopefully, there will be more opportunities for our sport to grow next year, and I'm so privileged to represent women's football with this award.”
Meanwhile, one of City’s all-time greats Francis Lee has been awarded the CBE.
Lee joined City in 1967 from Bolton Wanderers and was a key member of Joe Mercer’s all-conquering City side of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Costing just £60,000, he repaid his transfer fee many times over during his seven years at Maine Road, making 321 appearances and scoring 143 goals. He won four major titles with the Blues and became perhaps the Club’s most prolific penalty-taker of all time in the process, earning himself the nickname ‘Lee Won Pen’.
Franny also won 27 caps for England and joined Derby County in 1974, helping the Rams to the First Division title before concentrating on a business empire that counted future megastar Peter Kay as its employees.
He was also a successful racehorse trainer for several years before he returned to City in 1994, - this time as chairman as fan power helped him oust long standing chairman Peter Swales for the Maine Road hot-seat.
Lee remained in control until 1998.
Part of what fans referred to as ‘The Holy Trinity’ of Bell, Lee and Summerbee, Club Ambassador and former team-mate Mike Summerbee said: “On behalf of everyone at Manchester City, I would like to offer my warm congratulations to Francis for his CBE. We've been close friends for as long as I can remember so I feel as pleased as he does!
“He is a true legend of Manchester City and was a fantastic player who served the Club with distinction. It was an honour and a privilege to win trophies alongside him for Manchester City and this honour is truly deserved."
Law, a hugely successful striker nicknamed 'The King', had two spells at City either side of a season at Torino and a lengthy spell at United.
The Scottish star scored most of his goals in a red shirt, but secured his place in Blues folklore for scoring with a back-heel against the Old Trafford side for City in 1974.
He earns a CBE for services to football and charity.