Steph Houghton has been named as the new England Women’s captain.
Houghton has been chosen by head coach Mark Sampson to lead the team permanently, ahead of Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against Montenegro in Brighton.
Capped 44 times, the Manchester City defender has captained the Three Lions twice under Sampson, in a January friendly against Norway and in the Cyprus Cup against Canada.
Sampson said: "When I started as head coach I knew that I wanted a captain who would lead the side for a long time coming, as we build the team and work towards success.
"Steph has many of the qualities needed to be an inspirational leader and the attributes that I want our team to epitomise. She’s honest, hard-working, ambitious and has a winning attitude.
"At 25, Steph also has the room and time to improve as a player and grow as a leader, which fits in perfectly with our vision for the team.
"She is being passed the armband by an incredible leader in Casey Stoney, who has been a fantastic England captain and ambassador for women’s football.
"I’ve spoken with Casey and she will be a great support for Steph moving forward."
Houghton has demonstrated her leadership at club level, captaining former side Arsenal to the cup double in 2013. She began her career at hometown club Sunderland, before moving to Leeds United in 2007.
She joined Manchester City in January and will captain the side in their first season in FA WSL 1, which begins on 17 April.
Houghton added: "It’s a dream come true. To wear an England shirt and to captain your country is something I’ve dreamed of since a little girl.
"All the captains I’ve played under such as Casey, Faye White and Kelly Smith have all really helped me throughout my career and it meant a lot. I know if I needed advice, I could go to any of them.
"On the pitch I just try to lead by example and do the best for my country. We have such a talented group of girls and to put on the armband and lead them out in a World Cup qualifier will be a tremendous honour."
England take on Montenegro at the AMEX Community Stadium on Saturday 5 April in the qualification campaign for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015. The game is live on BBC Two from 12.45pm.
Tickets are available for the match at www.seagulls.co.uk or by calling 0844 327 1901.