Zelem 150: Katie's road to a landmark game

Tuesday 20 February 2024 15:29

Last weekend marked a special milestone in the career of Manchester United Women captain Katie Zelem as she made her 150th appearance for the club.

Despite the result against Arsenal at their Emirates Stadium not going our way, it was still a significant day as a record WSL crowd witnessed two Reds playing landmark games.

Hayley Ladd made her 100th appearance whilst Zelem, a lifelong United fan and graduate of our centre of excellence, reached the even more impressive figure of 150.

One of four players still at the club from that inaugural season in 2018, captain Katie led her team out in front of 60,160 people.
Zelem in action on her 150th United appearance, against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

Katie developed her game in United’s youth set-up but in the absence of a senior women's team at the club, she joined Liverpool in 2013. When we announced our reformation in 2018, Zelem jumped at the chance to return to Manchester, making the move from Juventus to play her part in our inaugural season.

The midfielder made her debut against her former club Liverpool in the Continental Tyres League Cup on 19 August 2018 - our first competitive game. Oldham-born Zelem helped to secure promotion to the WSL at the end of that season and was then appointed captain for our first campaign in the top flight.

Zelem scored her first goal for United in our second competitive game and our first in the Women’s Championship, on 9 September 2018. It was a memorable occasion for the whole squad as the Reds won 12-0 away to Aston Villa. Zelem scored the fourth of the afternoon, sending goalkeeper Sian Rogers the wrong way from the penalty spot after Martha Harris had been brought down.


The life-long United fan became the second player to register 100 appearances for our women's team after Ella Toone. Zelem marked the occasion by captaining the side to a 4-0 victory over Reading in the opening game of the 2022/23 season, and also getting on the scoresheet by netting from the penalty spot.
'150 feels incredible' Video

'150 feels incredible'

Exclusive interview | United Women captain Katie Zelem spoke to us ahead of her 150th game for the Reds...


Katie became the first captain to lead out United Women at Old Trafford in March 2021, for our 2-0 win over West Ham United. She also led out the side at Wembley Stadium last season in our first FA Cup Final, which we narrowly lost 1-0 to Chelsea. After securing Champions League football for the first time since our reformation, Zelem once again captained the team for that historic moment, as we hosted PSG at Leigh Sports Village.

On the international stage, the midfielder has earned 12 caps with the Lionesses, having made her England debut in November 2021.

The set-piece specialist has scored an array of memorable goals for the Reds including strikes at the Theatre of Dreams against Everton, Aston Villa and Manchester City. In the 2021/22 season Zelem scored three 'Olimpico' goals for United across two consecutive matches as she scored direct from a corner against City in the FA Cup before doing the same again, twice against Leicester in the WSL.

Total appearances: 150

By competition
WSL: 89
Championship: 18
Conti Cup: 27
FA Cup: 14
Champions League: 2

Total goals: 32

By competition 
WSL: 16
Championship: 10
Conti Cup: 5
FA Cup: 1