Former Villan Peter Crouch has announced his retirement from football at the age of 38 today.
Words by Matt Blogg | @Blogg_Matt
Former Villa striker Peter Crouch has today announced his retirement from football, and despite not being at Aston Villa for long, he made a name for himself in the claret and blue shirt and will always be fondly remembered.
Signed from Portsmouth in 2002, Crouch was only a Aston Villa player for two years, but you don’t make 468 Premier League appearances without having something about you.
Of that huge number of career appearances, only 37 were for Villa, and he only added six Villa goals to his total of 145 career goals between 2000 and 2019, so he was never a huge hit at Villa Park, but he certainly made an impression on the Premier League.
He spent the majority of his career in the top division, making 42 England appearances, and while Villa wasn’t his first club, it was his first major home.
Crouch managed to score on his home debut for Villa after his £5million switch from the south coast and started brightly scoring two in seven games.
However, in the 2002/03 season, he failed to nail down a place in the team and didn’t score a goal in 18 appearances. This non-existent form saw him shipped out on loan to Norwich City where he scored four times in 15 games in their promotion-winning campaign, a feat that saw him given another opportunity at Villa Park.
After the three-month loan he came back to Birmingham and, with his confidence boosted, performed much better than the first time around. He scored a brace against Leicester City, a late winner at Middlesbrough and the opening goal at Bolton Wanderers, and became a more important player in the side.
The form never turned into anything special and Crouch was sold to Southampton in 2004 for half the price he was signed for having never really managed to cement his place. He was always a dependable player and, as he proved at the Riverside with that late goal, could always pop up with a crucial goal, something he made a habit of doing later in his career.
So while his stint at Villa was short and sweet(ish), he is a hugely popular character within English football and it is difficult to say a bad word about him.
Largely under-appreciated, Crouch is one of those players that teammates will treasure much more than fans, with his link-up play always being a key asset.
He is ‘good feet for a big man’ personified and won (probably) every header he ever contested, and as he hangs up his boots, English football loses a truly unique talent, and one that no one will probably ever compare to.
There is nothing but respect for former Villan Peter Crouch.