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Ray Houghton




Date of birth





Republic of Ireland

The Glaswegian began his career in the heart of London with West Ham, he came through their ranks to sign professional in 1979 at the age of 17. He failed to make an impact with the Hammers in the three years he spent there, only making one appearance as a substitute.

Houghton wanted out and in 1982 he moved across the capital, signing for Fulham on a free transfer. He played first team football for the Cottagers, chalking up 129 league starts and scoring 16 goals during his three season spell.

1985 came around and Houghton was signed by former Royals boss Maurice Evans at Oxford United, as they strove to keep their place in the top tier of English football. He signed for £147,000, making his debut in a 2-2 at home to Liverpool in September.

By the end of that season, the midfielder had completed his job, keeping them up thanks to a win on the final day of the season. The finish of that term also saw Houghton win his first piece of silverware as an Oxford United player, scoring in a 3-0 League Cup final win over QPR.

At the start of the 1987/88 season, Oxford were flattened 2-0 by Liverpool who then offered £825,000 for the Scotsman’s amenities.

He was involved in a momentous five years with the Red side of Merseyside, harvesting two league titles, two FA Cups and a pair of Charity Shield wins among 205 appearances across both the league and cups.

He netted 38 times from midfield, the first coming during a 1–1 draw with Wimbledon at Plough Lane.

After successful periods with Villa and Palace, Houghton signed for Reading on a free in July 1997. His debut came a month later in our 1-1 draw with Bury away.

He spent a season at Elm Park before the move to a newly built Madejski Stadium – his one goal in Reading colours came against Manchester City, which ended in a 3-0 smothering in front of the Royals’ fans.

His glittering career came to an end with a move to Stevenage Borough in 1999, after just three starts, he retired from the game in May 2000, at the age of 38.