Peter Crouch: The historic wildcard

soccer

(© kamonrat – stock.adobe.com)

The English aren’t known for their dancing. But they are known for their football. And on one fateful day in 2006, one lanky legend combined the power of both to make fans – and foes – worldwide. Those who know, will know who I’m talking about. The man who admits that he would still be a virgin if he hadn’t been a professional footballer. The man who made it out of the neighborhood to make millions of dollars and marry a model. The centerpiece of a fantastic podcast. If you are starting a new team today he most likely wouldn’t be one of the top EPL picks for today, but he is a striker with 108 Premier League goals for 8 different clubs. The man, the legend.

Peter Crouch.

While underrated throughout much of his career, he was great in the air and had excellent agile feet for a 6’7” striker. You could have read every Premier League prediction known to man and they wouldn’t have come close to describing his career accurately. Crouchie made his professional debut with Queens Park Rangers in 2000 before moving to Portsmouth, Aston Villa, and Southampton. But his star really began to shine at Liverpool, where he scored 11 Champions league goals and appeared in the 2006-07 Champions League final versus AC Milan. He scored many world class goals, generated precious assists, and certainly always had the biggest boots in the locker room.

All that said, Crouchie was a hell of a footballer and honestly, probably still is (he only just retired in 2019 after a short stint at Burnley). But in the shining moment of his career, he arrived as a dancer. A hat trick vs Jamaica in a friendly before the 2006 World Cup provided the setting and the rest is history. After his first goal off a corner kick, Crouchie shrugged off his teammates, galloped to the corner flag, and hit the robot. What a beautiful sight it was.

So, the world came to love Crouchie through dance.

But a few weeks later at the World Cup, he became a villain…to some. An 83rd minute goal vs Trinidad and Tobago set up England for a crucial group stage victory. But upon replay of the goal, an inconvenient truth came to light. As Crouchie jumped to head the ball, he gave himself an extra inch of clearance by tugging the Trinidad defenders hair, preventing him from jumping to contest Crouch’s header.

It will be remembered in the annals of contentious World Cup goals and live long in the digital age but to the team, and country, he triumphed in spite of, it granted him the title of Public Enemy Number One.

In this diverse, disparate yet interconnected world we live in, it is true that one man’s hero is often another’s anti-hero. While Peter Crouch may be a legend, a role model, an imaginary father figure to you; he is quite the opposite in T&T. So if you ever find yourself there on a sandy beach while the soca music is bumping and the rum is flowing and you feel the need to shake off the shackles of the post-industrial-pre-cyborg world we live in via the eternal delight of dance, just remember:

Don’t Do the Robot.


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