Inspiring others is part of Stephanie Houghton's daily work.
The England captain's never-say-die attitude was emphasised by the added-time free-kick she scored that gave her Manchester City side a winning start to the FA Women's Super League, 1-0 against Notts County, a week before she was named as a UEFA women's football development ambassador.
"I am very honoured to become a UEFA women's football development ambassador," said the defender, a bronze medal winner with England at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada. "The women's game has grown so much over the past few years but there is still so much that can be done to develop it further.
"I hope I can make a significant contribution and support the game, especially in countries and UEFA member associations that don't get the same support that we are fortunate to have here in England."
Capped 69 times, Houghton joins Camille Abily, Verónica Boquete, Laura Georges and the woman she calls her "toughest opponent" Lotta Schelin in the role, showing youngsters what is possible for girls and women by dedicating themselves to football. Houghton has some rousing experiences to fall back on as well, having represented Great Britain during the London Olympics in 2012 and scored the winning goal against Brazil in front of 80,000 people at Wembley.
A regular in the UEFA Women's Champions League for former club Arsenal, Houghton will be part of Manchester City's European debut next season. Appoibnted a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the UK's 2016 New Year's Honours List, Houghton won two FA WSL titles among a number of trophies with Arsenal and a League Cup at previous club Leeds, who she joined from home town club Sunderland.
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