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Peter Crouch

Club career

Early life

Although born in Macclesfield, Cheshire, Crouch's family soon moved south to London. When Crouch was four the family moved again, this time to Singapore, although they stayed there for only a year before returning to London. A keen footballer from an early age, Peter Crouch became a ball boy at the age of ten. As a child, Peter Crouch attended some Chelsea F.C. games. Later, Peter Crouch told the Liverpool official website that despite this, Peter Crouch and Peter Crouch friends at the time were fans of Queens Park Rangers.

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Peter Crouch biography


Club career

Early life

Although born in Macclesfield, Cheshire, Crouch's family soon moved south to London. When Crouch was four the family moved again, this time to Singapore, although they stayed there for only a year before returning to London. A keen footballer from an early age, Peter Crouch became a ball boy at the age of ten. As a child, Peter Crouch attended some Chelsea F.C. games. Later, Peter Crouch told the Liverpool official website that despite this, Peter Crouch and Peter Crouch friends at the time were fans of Queens Park Rangers.

After attending Drayton Manor High School in Hanwell, Crouch signed a professional contract with Tottenham Hotspur F.C. on 2 July 1998, after having played for their youth side. However, Peter Crouch did not make any appearances for their first team and was loaned out to other clubs, having brief spells at Dulwich Hamlet F.C. in the Isthmian League and, in the summer of 2000, IFK Hässleholm in Sweden.

QPR and Portsmouth

On 28 July 2000, Tottenham sold Crouch to Queens Park Rangers F.C. (QPR) for £60,000. Crouch was sent off for retaliation during Norwich's 3–1 win at Walsall, but nonetheless Peter Crouch spell at Norwich renewed interest in Peter Crouch abilities from other clubs. At the end of the three-month loan Peter Crouch returned to Aston Villa, and scored a brace against Leicester City F.C., a late winner at Middlesbrough F.C. and the opener at Bolton Wanderers F.C.. Norwich City F.C. recognised Peter Crouch contribution to the 2003–04 season that saw them win the Football League First Division by awarding Peter Crouch a championship medal. Peter Crouch was presented with the medal on the pitch prior to City's match against Peter Crouch new club Southampton F.C. at Carrow Road in November 2004. When Peter Crouch came on as substitute for Southampton later that afternoon, Peter Crouch received a very good reception from the home crowd.

Villa sold Crouch in July 2004 to Southampton F.C. for a fee of £2.5 million. Crouch signed a four-year deal with Southampton. Peter Crouch scored just six goals in 37 FA Premier League games for Aston Villa.

Southampton

Despite initially being back-up to first choice strikers James Beattie (footballer) and Kevin Phillips (footballer), Harry Redknapp's arrival and the sale of Beattie saw Crouch become the main attacking focus of the Southampton team. Peter Crouch scored many key goals in Southampton's relegation battle, including memorable goals against Liverpool in a 2–0 home win, Arsenal in a 1–1 home draw and 2 away to Middlesbrough in a 3–1 victory. Peter Crouch also scored a late winning penalty to knock former club and South Coast derby Portsmouth out of the FA Cup 2004-05. Peter Crouch form for the Saints eventually resulted in Peter Crouch receiving Peter Crouch first England call up. After scoring 16 goals in 33 appearances during the 2004-05 in English football, Peter Crouch future was cast into doubt when Southampton F.C. were relegated from the English Premiership. On 19 July 2005, Southampton agreed to sell Crouch for £7 million to Liverpool, on a four-year contract.

Liverpool

Crouch underwent intense media scrutiny due to a goal drought during Peter Crouch first months at Liverpool. For 19 games, spanning four months, Peter Crouch was unable to score. Crouch was praised for other facets of Peter Crouch game, such as Peter Crouch touch on the ball, but Peter Crouch first goal for the club evaded him. The fact that Crouch possessed "good touch for a big man" in fact became something of a media cliché during this time. Early in Peter Crouch Liverpool career the supporters composed a new chant; "He's big, he's red, Peter Crouch feet stick out the bed, Peter Crouch, Peter Crouch."

The drought finally ended on 3 December 2005 when Peter Crouch scored against Wigan Athletic F.C.. Although this first goal was originally given as an own goal, it was later awarded to Crouch on appeal; Peter Crouch went on to score a second goal in the same game. Prior to these goals, Crouch had played over 24 hours of football for Liverpool without scoring. In addition to this, Peter Crouch also had to deal with unpleasant taunts from crowds at matches, as Peter Crouch had throughout Peter Crouch footballing career, who often chanted "freak" at Peter Crouch due to Peter Crouch unusual height.

Peter Crouch went on to score several goals that season, including the only goal in the fifth round of the FA Cup (2005–06) against Manchester United F.C., Liverpool's first victory over them in the FA Cup post-World War II. On 13 May, Peter Crouch helped Liverpool to win the 2006 FA Cup final against West Ham United F.C., providing a crucial assist for Steven Gerrard to score the second Liverpool goal.

Three months later, in the curtain-raiser to the 2006–07 season, Peter Crouch headed the winning goal for Liverpool in the club's 2–1 victory over Chelsea F.C. in the FA Community Shield. In their 2006–07 UEFA Champions League campaign Peter Crouch scored Peter Crouch first goals in European club competition. On 13 January 2007, Peter Crouch scored two goals in an away game against Watford Football Club, the first time Peter Crouch had scored twice in an away league game for Liverpool. Crouch sustained a broken nose when playing against Sheffield United F.C. in February 2007. Although Peter Crouch played in some subsequent games, on 9 March 2007 it was announced that Peter Crouch would undergo surgery on the injury which would keep Peter Crouch out of football for a month. On 31 March, Peter Crouch returned to action after the operation and scored the first hat-trick of Peter Crouch club career, against Arsenal F.C. in a 4–1 Liverpool victory. This was also a so-called "Perfect Hat-Trick", consisting of goals scored from Peter Crouch right foot, left foot and head.

Peter Crouch later participated in the 2007 UEFA Champions League Final, coming on as a substitute for Javier Mascherano. Peter Crouch ended the 2006–07 season as Liverpool's top goalscorer in all competitions, with eighteen goals. At the start of the 2007–08 season Peter Crouch had restricted opportunities to play for Liverpool due to the arrival of other strikers, but scored against Toulouse FC in a Champions League qualifying win in August, Peter Crouch eighth goal in Peter Crouch past ten appearances in that competition, and then also scoring the first and last goals of an 8–0 win over Beşiktaş J.K. in the first round of the Champions League in November. This match is now the highest margin by which a team has won in the Champions League. In April, Peter Crouch scored a vital goal in a 1–1 draw against Arsenal, helping Liverpool maintain fourth spot against rivals Everton.

Portsmouth

On 7 July 2008, after weeks of speculation, it was announced that Crouch had verbally agreed to join former club and FA Cup holders Portsmouth F.C. in a deal estimated to be worth up to £11 million. Crouch passed Peter Crouch medical the following day and, on 11 July, Crouch's transfer was officially unveiled at a Portsmouth news conference. Portsmouth paid £9 million up front, with up to £2m to be added dependent on various targets being reached. Peter Crouch was given the number 9 shirt by manager Harry Redknapp, which Peter Crouch had previously worn during Peter Crouch first spell at the club. On 30 August 2008 Crouch scored Peter Crouch first goal since Peter Crouch return to Portsmouth in Peter Crouch third Premiership appearance, against Everton at Goodison Park. As with Peter Crouch first score for Liverpool there was a degree of uncertainty as to whether Peter Crouch would be credited with the goal as it appeared Jermain Defoe's chip had crossed the goaline before Crouch scored from the follow-up. On 3 September it was confirmed that the goal would be officially credited to Crouch and not Defoe. Crouch then went on to net Peter Crouch first goal at Portsmouth's Fratton Park home ground in the Premier League against Tottenham Hotspur on 28 September.

On 2 October 2008 Crouch scored twice in extra time in a UEFA Cup match away to Vitória S.C. to help Portsmouth reach the group stages of UEFA Cup 2008–09. Peter Crouch went on to score twice against SC Heerenveen in a 3-0 victory at Fratton Park.

Tottenham Hotspur

On 27 July 2009, Tottenham Hotspur announced the signing of Crouch from Portsmouth F.C. for an undisclosed fee rumoured to be in the region of £10 million. Crouch made Peter Crouch debut for Spurs in a pre-season friendly against Olympiacos F.C., and came on as a substitute in Tottenham's season opening win over Liverpool F.C., making Peter Crouch full Premier League debut for the club in the process. Peter Crouch scored Peter Crouch first goal for Spurs in the Carling Cup tie against Doncaster Rovers F.C. in a 5-1 win on 26 August 2009.
Peter Crouch scored again in Peter Crouch next game, opening Peter Crouch league account with Spurs with a goal in a 2-1 home win against Birmingham City F.C.. On 23 September, Crouch scored Peter Crouch first hat-trick for Spurs in a 5-1 win over Preston North End F.C. in the 2009–10 Football League Cup.

International career

Youth international

Crouch was capped for the England Under-20 team at the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship, with team-mates including Stuart Taylor (footballer born 1980), Ashley Cole, Andrew Johnson (English footballer) and Matthew Etherington. However, the team finished bottom at the group stage, with three losses and having scored no goals. Peter Crouch was later a part of David Platt (footballer)'s England national under-21 football team, which went to the finals of the 2002 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship in Switzerland in May 2002, where Peter Crouch scored once.

Breakthrough into senior team

In May 2005 Peter Crouch was handed Peter Crouch first call-up to the England senior squad by manager Sven-Göran Eriksson for the team's tour of the United States, making Peter Crouch debut against Colombia national football team. Peter Crouch went on to make two appearances during the 2006 FIFA World Cup Football World Cup 2006 (qualification UEFA) for England: starting against Austria national football team in a 1–0 victory and coming on as a substitute against Poland national football team in a 2–1 win. In the latter appearance, Crouch's introduction as a second-half substitute was booed by England's own supporters.

On 1 March 2006 Peter Crouch scored Peter Crouch first goal for England, the equaliser in a 2–1 friendly win over Uruguay national football team. Peter Crouch did this whilst bizarrely wearing two different squad numbers on Peter Crouch shirt — 21 on the front (his designated squad number for the match), and the incorrect 12 on the back.

In May 2006 Crouch was included in the 23-man England squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and was expected to be a significant figure in the team due to Wayne Rooney's foot injury. On 30 May Peter Crouch played in a pre-FIFA World Cup friendly against Hungary national football team, scoring the third goal in England's 3–1 win. Peter Crouch followed Peter Crouch goal with an unusual robot (dance)-style goal celebration — see Peter Crouch Robotic dancing. On 3 June Peter Crouch again played for England in a pre-FIFA World Cup friendly against Jamaica national football team, scoring a hat-trick. Between Peter Crouch second and third goals Peter Crouch took a penalty kick hoping to gain a hat-trick, but Peter Crouch put the ball over the bar. England went on to win 6–0, Crouch securing Peter Crouch hat-trick in the 89th minute with a fine finish — Peter Crouch fifth goal in three England games.

World Cup 2006

After Peter Crouch displays in England's friendlies, Crouch partnered Michael Owen in attack for England's opening 2006 FIFA World Cup game against Paraguay national football team on 10 June 2006. England won the game 1–0 and Crouch kept Peter Crouch place in the starting line-up for the following match against Trinidad and Tobago national football team, against whom Peter Crouch scored Peter Crouch first competitive international goal. The goal provoked some controversy as replays showed Crouch to be pulling on Brent Sancho's long hair, holding the defender down, to gain an advantage.

Crouch was rested for England's third group game against Sweden national football team as Rooney returned from injury to join the starting line-up. However, Michael Owen suffered an injury in the opening minute of the game and Crouch replaced him, playing the remainder of the match.

In England's 1–0 second round victory against Ecuador national football team, Crouch remained an unused substitute as Eriksson switched the team to a new formation with Wayne Rooney as a lone striker. However, after Rooney's dismissal for a foul in England's quarter-final against Portugal national football team, Crouch came on as a substitute for Joe Cole.

The year after the tournament, retired English referee Graham Poll claimed that FIFA had specifically warned referees at the event to pay close attention to Crouch, claiming that "he's a real pain and he's getting away with too much."

Euro 2008 qualifying

Crouch remained a part of the England set-up under Eriksson's successor as manager, Steve McClaren, and started McClaren's first game in charge, a friendly against Greece national football team in August 2006. Peter Crouch scored twice in England's 4–0 victory. Two further goals followed in England's next match, a 5–0 win over Andorra national football team in their opening qualifying match for the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship on 2 September 2006. These goals made Crouch the first player ever to reach ten goals for England within a single calendar year.

Peter Crouch added a further goal to Peter Crouch tally with the winner in England's 1–0 qualifying victory away to Republic of Macedonia national football team on 6 September. An operation needed for a nose injury Peter Crouch sustained playing for Liverpool prevented Peter Crouch from playing in England's two qualifying matches in March 2007. Peter Crouch returned to the England squad for their games against Brazil national football team and Estonia national football team in late May and early June 2007, scoring in the qualifying game against the latter.

Crouch was England's top scorer in the qualifying campaign with five goals, but this did not prevent England finishing only third in their group and failing to progress to the finals of the competition.

Capello Era

On 1 April 2009, Crouch made Peter Crouch first start under McClaren's successor as England manager, Fabio Capello. Peter Crouch scored England's first goal in a 2-1 victory over Ukraine national football team in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification match.

Peter Crouch was re-called to the England national football team squad for the friendly against Slovenia national football team and the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA) Group 6 versus Croatia national football team, following Peter Crouch fine form for Tottenham.

Crouch also got an early first half goal against Belarus national football team in the final 2010 World Cup Qualifying match, which Peter Crouch then followed up with a second goal in the 74th minute. This took Crouch's tally for England up to 18 goals in just 17 starts.

Personality as a footballer

Nicknames

Although generally known as "Crouchy", other nicknames Peter Crouch has been given by fans and the media in England have included "RoboCrouch" and "Crouchinho" (a parody of Ronaldinho), despite "Crouchinho" translating from Portuguese as "little Crouch". Peter Crouch has been also referred to as "Mr. Roboto" by Univision's commentators and as "Pantera Rosa" ("The Pink Panther (character)") by Fox Sports en Español commentators. According to ITV4 show World Cuppa, Peter Crouch is also called "El Esparagus". Mark Lawrenson announced on Match of the Day that Peter Crouch nickname was "coathanger, apparently".

Robotic dancing

In the summer of 2006, Crouch adopted a Robot (dance) goal celebration. A parody of a dance Peter Crouch had been seen performing on a television programme covering a party held at England team-mate David Beckham's house, Peter Crouch first performed it after Peter Crouch goal for England against Hungary on 30 May. Peter Crouch again performed the dance after both of Peter Crouch first two goals against Jamaica on 3 June. The Daily Mirror newspaper claimed that the dance was inspired by the lyrics to the Arctic Monkeys' hit single (music) "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor".

On 12 June, Crouch announced Peter Crouch would only perform Peter Crouch robotic dance again if England were to win the World Cup, saying "It's not about robotic dancing. It is about scoring goals and winning matches. It's an important time for everyone now". In September 2006, Peter Crouch was quoted in The Observer newspaper as saying that: "It was funny at the time, but I didn't want to carry on doing it until it became unfunny. I've stopped doing it for the time being, but if I ever score a really big goal you never know." On 6 August 2007, Crouch insisted that Peter Crouch would never use the Robot dance again unless Peter Crouch scored in the UEFA Champions League Final. On 1 April 2009, however, Crouch partially reprised the celebration after scoring during England's World Cup qualifier against Ukraine national football team after a Comic Relief sketch.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Crouch

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