Beckham, Bierhoff, ping pong and Tord Grip – 10 things you didn't know about Peter Crouch

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Peter Crouch – 42 caps for England, scorer of more than 100 Premier League goals, does a funny robot celebration, married to Abbey Clancy.

You probably think you know all there is to know about the two-metre-tall striker – until this week’s launch of his new BBC Radio 5 live ‘That Peter Crouch Podcast’.

With the first three episodes now available, Crouch’s unique insight into life as a Premier League footballer includes stories about Prince Harry, Brooklyn Beckham… and Sven-Goran Eriksson playing the piano.

You can download and subscribe here or via your usual podcast provider. [1]

1. He invented a famous cookery programme format

I was at Portsmouth, hanging out with Shaun Derry and Courtney Pitt. We lived in each other’s pockets, and so we used to cook for each other.

We were eating out all the time as professional footballers, and we had to nip it in the bud. So we used to take the trolley round the supermarket. Whoever was cooking would get what they wanted. And then we’d rate each other.

This is before Come Dine With Me. I basically invented Come Dine With Me.

My speciality? Chicken with stir-in pasta. I used to throw in the pasta bows and then cut up the chicken myself. It wasn’t top notch.

2. Prince Harry once delivered the ultimate put-down

I’ve met the princes a few times. I remember Harry said to me once – we were in the England changing-room – and he said: “Crouchie! How did you bag Abbey?”

He genuinely said that. He was dissing me, for sure, and then laughing his head off as he walked off.

I looked around and said: “Did that just happen?”

I was taken aback at the time. But I told Abbey afterwards, and she was buzzing.

3. Sven-Goran Eriksson and his former assistant Tord Grip are one of music’s great undiscovered duos

Tord Grip was incredible at the accordion.

We got back from an England game one night, and I just peeked into the bar. I heard some music. Sven was on the piano, tickling the ivories, and Tord was on the accordion. Tord was amazing.

4. He beat a Beckham at ping-pong at the 2006 World Cup

We were staying in Baden-Baden in Germany at the 2006 World Cup.

There wasn’t a great deal to do. Victoria Beckham was obviously at lots of the games, and so one night I ended up playing table-tennis with a seven-year-old Brooklyn.

I put him to bed.

5. He rates himself on football computer games

It’s a difficult one. I’d like to think I’m better in real life, but I do get some goals. I get people tweeting me all the time about great goals I’ve scored on Fifa.

It’s quite life-like – I’ve got absolutely no pace, but I can bang them in every now and then.

6. He is paranoid about his financial security

I have a different signature for my bank card and my autograph. If someone had my autograph and then found my bank card, I’d be a little bit worried about fraud. Although I am a relatively hard man to imitate.

Tipping when you have room service is a difficult thing. They’ve already got your bank card. So I put the pound sign, and then the fiver, really close. So that they can’t add another digit.

If I put £10, they could put another one in there, so it read £110. I’m just thinking ahead. I could end up doing £110 on a plate of chicken nuggets.

7. He had a pet named after an ex-Chelsea striker

It was a rabbit. My sister’s one was called Jimbo, like the airplane. It was never ‘Kerry’. It was always ‘Kerry Dixon’.

But we had to get rid of Kerry Dixon, because he went mad. He started attacking Jimbo.

8. Dion Dublin is man of many talents

Dion’s whole family were on stage at my wedding. They can all play. His brother was an amazing DJ, did all the 1990’s dance classics. It went down a storm.

He called me once and said, “You’ll never guess what. I’ve got a prime-time TV show.”

He gave me the audience numbers who watched it before he gave me the show’s name. I was like, “Wow! Incredible. What is it, Match of the Day? Football Focus?”

That’s when he told me it was Homes Under the Hammer.

9. He ‘discovered’ Oliver Bierhoff

I feel I was there right back in the day with Championship Manager. I was playing that when you used the space bar on your keyboard to speed it up.

I feel like I scouted Oliver Bierhoff. He was at Udinese, wasn’t much of a player. Then I bought him, and he went on to some really big things.

And that was before he went to AC Milan and before he was a German legend.

I genuinely believe that I scouted Oliver Bierhoff.

10. Transfer rumours aren’t always entirely accurate

I got sold on deadline day in 2011.

I was watching the breaking news graphic on TV, and apparently someone had spotted me in a helicopter going to Stoke from London.

Me and my dad were watching that in the Target Lane services on the A40, eating a Big Mac. We weren’t even very far into our journey. We hadn’t even done a junction.

It was sort of right – I was going to Stoke. Just in a family saloon via a McDonald’s, rather than a helicopter.

References

  1. ^ download and subscribe here (www.bbc.co.uk)

BBC Sport – Football

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