Stewart Mackie Houston (born 20 August 1949) is a Scottish former football player and coach who played as a left-back. Born in Dunoon, he began his professional career in 1967 with Chelsea, before moving across London to Brentford in 1972. After 18 months with Brentford, he joined Manchester United, where he spent seven years, making 250 appearances. He then spent three years with Sheffield United, and another three with Colchester United to end his career. He also made one appearance for the Scotland national team in 1975.
After he retired from playing, Houston moved into coaching. In 1990, he was appointed as George Graham's assistant at Arsenal. He took over as the club's caretaker manager when Graham was sacked in 1995, and again in 1996 after the sacking of Graham's replacement, Bruce Rioch. At the end of his tenure with Arsenal, he took over as manager of Queens Park Rangers, where he appointed Rioch as his assistant, but the pair were sacked after failing to get the club promoted back to the Premier League. He then had spells as the first-team coach at Ipswich Town, Tottenham Hotspur and Walsall. Houston later worked as a scout for Arsenal.
A left back, Houston's first professional club was Chelsea, but he failed to break into the first team and only made 14 appearances in five years. He was sold to Brentford in 1972. A year later he signed for Manchester United for £55,000, for whom he made 250 appearances (including two more as substitute) and scored 16 goals.
While he was at Old Trafford, Houston helped United win the Football League Second Division in 1975 and the 1976–77 FA Cup, although he did not actually feature in the 1977 FA Cup Final. He joined Sheffield United in 1980, before ending his playing career with Colchester United. He also played international football for Scotland, making one appearance in 1975 against Denmark.
Houston was assistant manager to George Graham at Arsenal from 1990, and was twice the club's caretaker-manager: first for three months in 1995 after Graham's sacking in February 1995. Houston took his team to the final of the European Cup Winners' Cup, but the Gunners lost to a last-minute goal from Nayim.
Arsenal appointed Bruce Rioch in the summer of 1995, but Houston stayed on as his assistant. Just over a year after his appointment, Rioch was sacked, and Houston was reappointed as caretaker. Arsène Wenger was identified as Rioch's successor in August, but Arsenal were forced to wait as Wenger was contracted to Japanese club Grampus Eight. Houston left Arsenal in mid-September to become manager of Queens Park Rangers, where he appointed Bruce Rioch as his assistant. QPR had just been relegated to the First Division and were aiming for a return to the Premier League. Houston and Rioch were sacked by QPR in November 1997, with the club sitting 13th in the First Division.
Houston then went to Ipswich Town, as George Burley's first team coach, but was later reunited with George Graham in March 1999 at Tottenham Hotspur. Houston left the club two weeks after Graham was sacked in March 2001. He then spent a brief period as first-team coach of Walsall. Houston also worked as a scout for Arsenal.
BrentfordFootball League Fourth Division third-place promotion (1): 1971–72
Football League Second Division (1): 1974–75
Football League Fourth Division (1): 1981–82
PFA Team of the Year (1): 1974–75
Football League First Division Manager of the Month (1): September 1997
1994–95 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: Runner Up