William Eric Houghton (29 June 1910 – 1 May 1996) was an English footballer and manager.
|Full name||William Eric Houghton|
|Date of birth||29 June 1910|
|Place of birth||Billingborough, Lincolnshire, England|
|Date of death||1 May 1996(aged 85)|
|Place of death||Birmingham, England|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Eric Houghton was born in Billingborough, Lincolnshire and educated at Donington Grammar School. He signed for Aston Villa as a seventeen-year-old and played in the Villa side for two decades, scoring 170 goals in 392 games. (The total including wartime matches was over 200 goals.) He also won 7 caps for England. His formidable and powerful shot was regarded as the hardest shot of his era. Houghton converted 58 spot kicks and also scored direct from about 30 free-kicks.
He finished his playing career at Notts County.
After managing Notts County, he went on to become Aston Villa manager, guiding Villa to a record seventh FA Cup triumph in 1957. He later returned to Villa as a director, the only person to do this at the club. He had 4 children. Often referred to as Mr Aston Villa in recognition of his long standing service and contribution to the club.
He also played seven first-class matches as a right-handed batsman and a right-arm bowler for Warwickshire County Cricket Club (1946–1947) and also minor counties cricket for Lincolnshire County Cricket Club. He also played club cricket for Sleaford, Aston Unity and Olton Cricket Clubs.
His brother, Roy Houghton, and cousin, Reg Goodacre, were also footballers. His son Neil chaired Warwickshire County Cricket Club (2003-2011) and his great-nephew Chris Woods was a successful international footballer.
He died in Sutton Coldfield on 1 May 1996, aged 85.
- Ponting, Ivan (3 May 1996). "Obituary: Eric Houghton". The Independent. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- "Set Piece Legend". Aston Villa Football Club. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- Wilkinson, Chris. "Roy Houghton". uptheposh.com. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
- "Warwickshire announce new committee appointments" (Press release). Warwickshire CCC. 13 February 2003. Retrieved 27 March 2018 – via ESPN Cricinfo.