Ex-coach says former proteges deserve New Year Honours after World Cup campaign

Steph Houghton and her fellow England stars deserve major recognition, according to former Sunderland manager Mick Mulhern.
Steph Houghton and her fellow England stars deserve major recognition, according to former Sunderland manager Mick Mulhern.

A quintet of former Sunderland footballers have been backed to win recognition in the New Year’s Honours list by the South Tyneside coach who helped to set them on the path to success.

Former Black Cats players Steph Houghton, Jill Scott, Lucy Bronze, Jordan Nobbs and Carly Telford were part of the England squad which finished third at the World Cup in Canada on Saturday.

Mick Mulhern

Mick Mulhern

They all started their development under the guidance of Mick Mulhern at Sunderland, and he now expects them to win major recognition.

Mr Mulhern, from South Shields, said: “They’re all going to get an awful lot of publicity, which is thoroughly deserved. It should be a no-brainer that the team will win the team of the year at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards.

“I think they will all receive at least an MBE in the Queen’s Honours list, as well.

“They are a credit to the country.”

I think they will all receive at least an MBE in the Queen’s Honours list

Mick Mulhern

England were beaten by an injury-time own goal in the semi-final of the tournament, against Japan, but picked themselves up to defeat Germany 1-0 in the third-place play-off.

Mulhern added: “I don’t think there’s another manager who can say they have had that many players who they helped bring through the ranks in a World Cup.

“England were so unlucky not to get to the final, and this is without doubt the best-ever England women’s team.”