Since Man City relaunched their women’s team in January 2014, the club has played host to dozens of players. However, a select group of these athletes have made a lasting mark on the club.
From leading appearances, first goals and all-time top scorers, five athletes have left a lasting legacy on the blue half of Manchester.
Karen BardsleyEmbed from Getty Images
The former City and England goalkeeper was a key part of the Sky Blues squad for nine years, making more than 100 appearances for the club. Winning eight major trophies and clocking up 64 clean sheets, the 38-year-old was a mainstay throughout the early years of the team.
The former England international secured City’s 2019 Continental Cup victory following a penalty shootout against Arsenal.
A prominent voice in the fight for equality within the sport, the former City No.1 was a champion of the women’s game throughout the WSL’s infancy. Retiring from professional football in 2022, Bardsley has since rejoined the Sky Blues as a project officer.
Jill ScottEmbed from Getty Images
The midfielder marked Man City’s first signing following the relaunch. With 194 appearances and 25 goals, the 36-year-old has made an indelible mark on Manchester and the wider football landscape.
Bagging the club’s first Champions League goal, the midfielder sealed her name into the City history books. Throughout her eight seasons with the club, Scott became a fan favourite as one of the team’s key personnel.
Scott announced her retirement from football at the end of the 2021/22 season. The 36-year-old is now serving as a youth coach for City’s academy system.
Georgia StanwayEmbed from Getty Images
Making her Man City debut at just 15, few could have predicted the accolades the forward would go on to claim.
Joining the club in 2015, Stanway enjoyed seven years in Manchester before making the move to Bayern Munich.
With 67 goals across 185 appearances, the 24-year-old leads the way as City’s all-time top goal scorer. Alongside amassing 39 league goals, Stanway was also pivotal to the club earning seven trophies during her time in Manchester.
Toni DugganEmbed from Getty Images
Duggan joined Man City in 2013 and was part of the club’s early squad. Penning her contract back when the relaunch of the Sky Blues was still seen as an ambitious project, Duggan would go on to become a fundamental part of the early team.
While Duggan may have bagged 31 goals across her 74 appearances, four goals in particular have cemented a place in the City history books for the 31-year-old.
Duggan scored the first four competitive goals for her side, including a brace against Reading in the FA Cup. These tallies ensured her legacy at the club would be forever remembered.
Alongside bagging the first goals for her team, Duggan took just 63 games to net 30 goals across all competitions.
Steph HoughtonEmbed from Getty Images
Perhaps amongst the most influential players within the WSL, Manchester City captain Steph Houghton has become a cornerstone of both her club and women’s football.
The 34-year-old joined the Sky Blues back in January 2014. Taking the captain’s armband from City’s first game, the defender is the only club captain the blue side of Manchester has seen.
Alongside her captaincy, the centre back has also amassed 19 goals throughout her nine years with the club. With a club record of 228 appearances under her belt, Houghton has undoubtedly made a profound impact as one of the all-time WSL leading appearance makers.