Hougang United Football Club was founded as Marine Castle United Football Club, which was formed by Newcastle United fans in the Marine Parade area. Upon successful entry into the S.League in 1998, the club struggled in its early foray in the first few years, finishing in the bottom two for the next four seasons.
Marine Castle changed its name to Sengkang Marine Football Club in 2002 and finished in 8th position consecutively, its highest ever finish in its short history.
Financial difficulties then forced Sengkang Marine out of the S.League in 2004, and Paya Lebar-Punggol Football Club took its place in 2005, finishing the season as wooden-spoonist. The two clubs then merged their resources from 2006 to 2010, to form Sengkang Punggol Football Club, finishing no higher than 10th.
On 1 January 2011, the chairman of Sengkang Punggol Football Club, Mr. Bill Ng, announced the changes that began the rewriting of another chapter of this football club. With improved financial status and a change in name to the present Hougang United Football Club, there was renewed optimism among the Hougang fan base around the club's home stadium since its inception, Hougang Stadium. The club has a group of supporters known as the HOOLS (Hougang Only One Love). The club also had its fair share of ‘marquee players’ in the earlier days like Grant Holt (formerly Norwich City), Michael Currie (formerly Queens Park Rangers) and Kim See-man (former South Korea youth international).
In November 2014, it was announced that Hougang United and Woodlands Wellington will merge for the 2015 season. With the announcement that Hougang United will retain its name after the merger and assimilation of most of Woodlands staff into Hougang's structure, including players and head coach Salim Moin, Woodlands Wellington ceased to exist in the S.League from 2015.