Steph Houghton has admitted she does not feel as that her England story is over yet, after Leah Williamson was named as the Lionesses captain for Euro 2022.
Houghton has worn the England armband since 2014, captaining her side to three successive major tournament semi finals, but is yet to feature under new manager Sarina Wiegman due to an achilles injury.
The defender had surgery on her achilles in February, with Manchester City manager Gareth Taylor admitting it is unlikely that she will play for her club before the end of the season.
This has left Houghton a major doubt for Euro 2022, but when congratulating new skipper Williamson on taking the Lionesses armband, the 33-year-old added that she was still aiming to be fit for the tournament in England this summer.
“It has been the greatest honour and privilege to captain my country for the last eight years,” Houghton wrote on Twitter. “I have been fortunate to lead the team to three major competition semi-finals and a bronze medal at the 2015 World Cup. Whilst the targets were always to win tournaments, I will always have immense pride in how we played, competed and how much we achieved.
“I would like to thanks the previous managers for giving me the opportunity, as well as believing and putting their trust in me. For that I will always be grateful. It has been special to captain this generation of players through the move to full time professionals and their support, belief and togetherness was never taken for granted, and it was a pleasure to lead the team.
“The past 12 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.
“The captaincy is being passed on to a very deserving and driven leader in Leah Williamson, with all the attributes an England captain needs to be successful and I have no doubt she will be. I will give my total support to Leah and will be there for her with any help and advise she may need, similarly to what I received from Casey (Stoney) and Faye (White).
“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 Championships. I am available for selection when fit and look forward to putting on an England shirt again.
“I will be back soon.”