Houghton’s international career is even more impressive. He was first capped for Ireland in 1986, and quickly became the nation’s hero, scoring the winning goals against England in the European Football Championship of 1988 and against Italy in World Cup ’94.
Following his retirement from playing, Houghton became a football agent before becoming assistant manager at Crystal Palace. On leaving Palace, Houghton’s media career has gone from strength to strength, and he now presents shows on Talk Sport and provides football commentary for various TV stations.
Houghton enthused, “I first got to know the guys at Sports Interactive when I was an agent. I was aware of how accurate and exhaustive their database of players’ stats was, and used to phone them for advice on signings. As soon as I announced that I was leaving Palace, Miles was straight on the phone and offered me this job. It sits really well with my media interests, and I haven’t looked back since. I’m used to playing at the top of my profession with the best teammates in the world, so it’s only natural that I would want to join a company producing the best football management simulation in the world. They’re a great team producing a fantastic game, and I’m very proud to be a part of that.”
Miles Jacobson, Managing Director of Sports Interactive, beamed, “It’s incredibly cool having Ray here in the office. His amazing natural ability and experience are giving us an unrivalled insight into the world of professional football. He’s advising on all the features in Championship Manager 4, providing us with information on things even the most dedicated football fan could never know. Ray’s input makes us supremely confident that the next version of Champ Man is going to be the best and most accurate football management simulation ever.”
Championship Manager 4 is being released by Eidos Interactive on PC later this year. An Xbox version is also planned.