My first love was Italian football. It was so flamboyant. Gianluca Vialli was my idol; he had this effortless style. I was also transfixed by the Football Italia show on Channel 4, James Richardson sitting by a swimming pool with his pink Gazzetta dello Sport and his tiny little cup. I said to Dad, “Why is his cup so small?” He had to explain it was an espresso, not a tiny cup of bog-standard tea.
I can be romantic. When I proposed to Ab [Abbey Clancy, Crouch’s wife] in a villa in Ibiza I set up candles all the way downstairs so she could follow them to me. I once whisked her away for a weekend in Paris and surprised her with a new outfit each night. Not all of it was perfect, but I tried my best. When I played football I used to write little poems for her and leave them around the house. I should still do that really.
I was very apprehensive about fatherhood. You just don’t know if you’ll be any good. Ab was very maternal. But babies weren’t a huge thing in my family. I have four kids now, I can safely say I’m quite good.
Maybe football fans liked me because I’m one of them. Some players get caught up in their own hype. But I knew I was lucky. I enjoyed myself, people could relate to that. Some players don’t even smile when they score. I find that difficult to understand.
I first did my robot dance at David Beckham’s house party before the 2006 World Cup. After a few drinks I thought, “I’ll do something stupid on the way to the toilet.” I didn’t know the camera got me. I shat myself when I saw it had been filmed. The lads were saying I should do the dance next time I scored. So I did.
I’m the most political I’ve ever been. I recently had a meeting with Tracey Crouch, the former Sports Minister, and Prince William about the plight of non-league football, whose finances have been crippled by Covid. It’s so unfair. I joined Dulwich Hamlet as a 17-year-old and it opened my eyes to real football. This was people’s lives. A win mattered. Finances were hard. I’m a director there now, I’ve gone full circle. These clubs need help.
I sometimes worry about getting dementia. As a tall player [6ft 7in], I headed more balls than anyone in Europe for five or six years, so if anyone is going to struggle, it will be me. As a kid I used to practise heading until my vision became impaired and I saw stars. Today, I would never do that with my children. But back then we weren’t to know.
My greatest achievement was changing people’s opinions of me. I was very different to a lot of footballers, so I got a lot of stick. The tall gags got a bit tiresome. And the terraces aren’t kind to a young, skinny 18-year-old lad. But to overcome all that and play for England meant I’d proved myself.
Peter Crouch: Save Our Beautiful Game is available on discovery+ now
Denial of responsibility! NewsConcerns is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.