Hull FC veteran Danny Houghton discusses future ahead of latest milestone

Hull FC stalwart Danny Houghton admits he does not know what the future holds as he prepares to make his 400th appearance for the club this weekend.

Danny Houghton talks in the huddle ahead of the recent game against Toulouse. (Picture: SWPix.com)
Danny Houghton talks in the huddle ahead of the recent game against Toulouse. (Picture: SWPix.com)

The 33-year-old has been a cornerstone of the Hull pack since making his Super League debut in 2007 and remains one of the hardest-working players in the game, topping the competition’s tackle count once again so far this season.

Houghton has only a few months left on the two-year deal he signed at the end of 2020 but he is relaxed about his contract status.

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When asked about his future beyond the end of this year, he replied: “I’m not sure.

“This is the honest answer: I’m actually just enjoying performing and treating it like it could be my last season.

“I don’t really want to think too much into that and get carried away with it.

“It just comes as it comes and if it’s there, it’s there; if not then I’ll be very happy with where I’m at.

“I’m just taking it week by week. I’m happy playing at the moment and enjoying being out there with the boys.”

Given his remarkable defensive efforts week after week, Houghton has more miles on the clock than most players of the same age in Super League.

But he is putting any thoughts about retirement to the back of his mind while he is still reaching the high standards he has set for himself.

“I’ll probably let my body tell me,” said Houghton.

“There have been periods this season where I haven’t felt great but there have been others where I’ve felt great.

“It always helps when we’re performing well as a team and winning games.

“At this moment in time, I’m feeling good and ready to keep going but who knows later in the season.”

Houghton’s 400th game for Hull is the latest milestone in a stellar career that began 15 years ago.

The homegrown hooker broke Richard Horne’s club record for appearances in the Super League era in February and was a standout performer in his 400th career outing against Catalans Dragons last month, making 49 tackles to go with his two try assists.

His latest achievement holds special meaning but Houghton’s focus is on beating Wigan Warriors in his milestone match to cement Hull’s place in the top six.

“A few have come along lately,” he said.

“It’s the same as the other milestones: I’m proud to have been able to play so many games for the club I’ve followed and supported all my life.

“It’s a good one but it’s not really about that; it’s about getting back on the horse and making sure we get a win before we go into the break.”

Houghton made his debut off the bench against Harlequins as a little-known teenager in a side captained by Lee Radford, with Henry Paul lining up for the visitors that night.

He was a regular the following season and has not looked back since, winning back-to-back Challenge Cups with his hometown club in 2016 and 2017.

Houghton - named in the 2016 Super League Dream Team - has savoured every moment of his career so far.

“It seems to have gone so quick,” he said.

“I remember playing my first game against London at home and it seems to have flown by.

“I was told by some senior boys back then to enjoy it while it lasts because it comes around so quick - and it has.

“I’m pretty privileged that I’ve been in some really good teams surrounded by some great players and great coaches along the way. It always makes it more enjoyable when you have that.”