Clubs played for: Tottenham Hotspur, Dulwich Hamlet, IFK Hässleholm, Queens Park Rangers, Portsmouth, Aston Villa, Norwich City, Southampton, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Stoke City, and Burnley
Born: 30 January 1981
Birthplace: Macclesfield, England
When Peter Crouch retired in 2019, he left the Premier League as the striker with the most headed goals in the league’s history. Additionally, he’s one of only 31 players to have ever scored more than 100 goals during his career.
Over the course of his career, Crouch was also known for his reception by fans. There was a surplus of goals scored during the 2019-20 season, hinting that some players benefitted from a quiet stadium when preparing to strike. The same isn’t true for Crouch; he’s known for building off the hype of the twelfth man, particularly during his later years with Liverpool.
Playing days: Even during his amateur career, Peter Crouch was known for his height. In 1998, when Tottenham Hotspur offered him a contract as a trainee, Crouch stood at 6’7. His height was slated to be an asset in the box, but Crouch never made it onto the field in a Spurs kit.
He was placed on loan to lower-tier English clubs and the Swedish Division 2 League before landing a spot with the Queens Park Rangers. Unfortunately, Crouch wasn’t able to save the Rangers from relegation, which left Crouch once again packing up his bags.
However, his performance with the Rangers, at last, highlighted Crouch’s potential as a striker. During his time with the Rangers, he scored ten goals, earning the attention of Portsmouth.
Eventually, Portsmouth offered £1.5 million for the player—and it paid off. During his two-year stint with Portsmouth, Crouch notched 18 goals in 37 games, which next caught the attention of Aston Villa, who paid out £5 million for the striker. However, Crouch went through a dry spell with Villa; a back-and-forth pattern that would repeat throughout his career.
By 2004, Villa sold Crouch to Southampton, where he was set on the roster as a backup striker. Unlike his time with the Rangers, Crouch deftly helped steer Southampton from relegation; he was a key scorer in games against Liverpool, Portsmouth, and Arsenal. It was enough for Liverpool to pay out £7 million for the striker the next year, signing him to a four-year contract in 2005.
Despite a slow start and early criticism from fans, Crouch soon became a leading goal scorer for the Reds. Around the same time, he began making meaningful appearances for the national squad and earning recognition from fans across the country. Though not always consistent, he tended to come through at pivotal moments.
While his last years with Portsmouth, Tottenham, Stoke City, and Burnley saw further impressive performances from Crouch, many remember him from his days with Liverpool. Though he originally faced difficulties with fans, they later came to love Crouch, immortalizing him with names like ‘RoboCrouch’ for his celebratory dance moves to ‘Crouchinho’.
Life After Football: When Crouch retired from professional football in 2019 at the age of 38, many expected the striker to become an important member of the football community. In addition to being a record-holder, Crouch had also managed to endear himself to the public; there are few more winning combinations for a pro footballer.
Immediately after retirement, the BBC offered Crouch a place hosting a podcast, That Peter Crouch Podcast, as well as a BBC One show called Peter Crouch: Save Our Summer. The latter is a sports comedy game show, which proved popular with viewers. The first is a joint project that features BBC One sports journalist, Tom Fordyce, and radio personality, Chris Stark. The trio go through some of the most interesting aspects of being a professional footballer, from transfers to dealing with managers.
Back in 2019 when the podcast first launched, it drew in over 12 million listeners, which makes it one of the most popular UK-based podcasts ever created. Though originally slated to run for two seasons, the podcast has created additional content based on listener interest. Their last episode was released in May 2021.
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