Search for your sports books:

Featured Publisher: John Blake
Apart form its current publications, John Blake Publishing has a sizeable back list of acclaimed sporting titles. These include biographies of stars such as Roger Federer, WG Grace, Fernando Torres and Frankie Dettori. For more information, visit www.blake.co.uk



Read Review
<back to archive

Walking Tall by Peter Crouch

Release date: 05th October, 2007
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

List Price: £18.99
Our Price: £11.39
You Save: £7.6 (40%)
Buy Now

"He's big, he's red, his feet stick out the bed. Peter Crouch, Peter Crouch" So sings the Kop in honour of their 6ft 7in striker whenever he finds the back of the net, although following his £7 million transfer from Southampton to Liverpool two years ago, he didn't hear that chant for some considerable time.

Crouch endured a horribly long barren spell and despite his best efforts as a link-up man and team player, he was specifically signed to score goals. When the goalscoring dam broke, however, he embarked on a prolonged run (at the time of writing, he's scored 20 league goals in 42 appearances for the Reds), although the fact that he has struggled to hold down a permanent place in the Liverpool side this term suggests that Rafa Benitez remains unconvinced when it comes to his goalscoring prowess.

Much the same could be said of Steve McClaren who hesitates to select Crouch, ignoring his prolific form in an England shirt. Astonishingly, however, the gangly striker remains the only England player ever to score ten international goals in a calendar year.

In a ghosted autobiography, one would expect subjectivity and it's here in abundance, yet Crouch is a difficult guy to dislike. He's been described, disparagingly, as a basketball player and much worse besides, but few could question his effort or willingness on the football pitch. Perhaps because he is such an obvious player, fans are more conscious of his presence, although it's fair to say he's probably a much better ball player than people give him credit for. Does this bother Crouch? Not according to the evidence presented here.

Born in Macclesfield in 1981, Crouch began his football career at non-league Dulwich Hamlet and enjoyed a productive two years as a trainee at White Hart Lane. But Spurs were more than happy to let him go to QPR for £60,000, although his time at Loftus Road was hardly the start of an ultra-smooth ride to the top. It was only when Portsmouth came in for the 20-year-old, paying QPR £1.5 million for his services, that his profile started to improve.

His goal-a-game record at Fratton Park had clubs queuing up for his signature and persuaded Aston Villa to part with £5 million just eight months after he had signed for Pompey.

Villa Park was meant to be Peter Crouch's big-time stage, but he faced an almost constant battle to ward off the doubters, a situation that was hardly helped when he was farmed out to Norwich on loan. A transfer back to the south coast for a much-reduced £2 million seemed to suit him; was he one of those players who couldn't quite cut it in the big time? His move to St Mary's seemed to confirm this, yet out of the blue, in came Rafa Benitez with a cheque for £7 million.

Peter Crouch remains an enigma. He couldn't be described as brilliant, but still manages to find himself in the right place at the right time, the hallmark of football's greatest goalscorers. He shuns celebrity, although he talks openly about his infamous robot dance, he's an on-field worker, but one who couldn't be mentioned in the same breath as Dirk Kuyt. This is hardly a revealing tale, but for the curious interested in learning more of a footballing curiosity, it's probably ideal.


<back to archive


Toolstation


SBOTM Current Top 10

Unstoppable: My Life So Far By Maria Sharapova
Particular Books
Read Review Buy Now
Over and Out: My Innings of a Lifetime with Test Match Special By Henry Blofeld
Hodder & Staughton
Read Review Buy Now
Football: My Life, My Passion By Graeme Souness
Headline
Read Review Buy Now
Rugby, The Game Of My Life: Battling For England in the Professional Era By Rob Andrew
Hodder & Staughton
Read Review Buy Now
Ali: A Life By Jonathan Eig
Simon & Schuster
Read Review Buy Now
A Clear Blue Sky By Jonny Bairstow with Duncan Hamilton
Harper Collins
Read Review Buy Now
From Orient to the Emirates The Plucky Rise of Burnley FC By Tim Quelch
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
Ascent By Sir Chris Bonnington
Simon & Schuster
Read Review Buy Now
Glove Story By Rob Stokes, Derek Hammond & Gary Silke
Conker Editions
Read Review Buy Now
The Way of the Runner A Journey Into the Fabled World of Japanese Running By Adharanand Finn
WW Norton
Read Review Buy Now

Amazon’s top 6 best-sellers

© Sharks Media Ltd 2004 – 2012. Site designed and maintained by Marcus Hamblett for Furydesign.