Former Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Portsmouth and Stoke City striker, Peter Crouch, who is the oldest footballer to score 100 goals or more in the Premier League, has announced his retirement from football in a heartwarming message posted on Friday, July 12.
— Premier League (@premierleague) July 11, 2019
Crouch, who also won 42 caps for the England national team and scored 22 goals in the 15 years he spent playing for the Three Lions, has decided to hang up his boots 21 years after making his professional debut at Tottenham Hotspur.
“After a lot of deliberation this summer I have decided to retire from football ! Our wonderful game has given me everything,” Crouch wrote on social media on Friday morning. “I’m so thankful to everyone who helped me get there and to help me stay there for so long. X”
The former England striker added: “If you told me at 17 I’d play in World Cups , get to a champions league final , win the Fa cup and get 100 @premierleague goals I would have avoided you at all costs.
It’s been an absolute dream come true 🤖”
After signing his first professional deal with Spurs in July 1998, Crouch became a journeyman of sorts, playing for Queens Park Rangers and Portsmouth between 2000 and 2002 after loan spells at Dulwich Hamlet and IFK Hässleholm as he failed to break into the Spurs first team.
The 6 ft 7 inch-tall striker moved on to Aston Villa and had a loan spell at Norwich City before making a name for himself at Southampton in the 2004/05 season as he scored 12 goals in 27 Premier League appearances and attracted interest from rival clubs.
Crouch eventually joined Liverpool for £7 million on a four-year deal in 2005 and helped the Reds to win the FA Cup at the end of his debut season, scoring three goals in six matches. He went on to score the winner as the Merseyside club beat Chelsea 2-1 to lift the 2006 Community Shield.
His second season at Anfield saw him score seven goals in 14 matches as the club made it all the way to the UEFA Champions League final where AC Milan awaited in what was a repeat of the famous 2005 showdown which Liverpool had won after dramatically coming from 3-0 down.
There would be no heroics in 2007, however, as two goals from Filippo Inzaghi inspired AC Milan to a 2-1 win in a match which Crouch played the final 12 minutes after coming off the substitutes bench for Javier Mascherano.
Crouch went on to play again for Portsmouth in the 2008/09 season before returning to Spurs in 2009 and remained for three years, making 93 appearances in all competitions and scoring 24 goals before securing a move to Stoke City for what was then a club-record £10 million fee in 2011.
It was at the Potters that Crouch became the oldest player to score 100 goals in the Premier League, achieving the feat in the 2016/17 season while he surpassed Jonathan Walters as the club’s all-time leading goalscorer the following season.
Crouch set a record for the most number of appearances as substitute in the Premier League when he came off the bench for the 143rd time against Brighton & Hove Albion, breaking the record held by Shola Ameobi on November 20 2017.
While he never officially retired from international duty, his final appearance for England was in 2010, while his last appearance in football came in the closing 13 minutes of Burnley’s 3-1 home defeat to Arsenal on the final day of the 2018/19 Premier League season.
Crouch would be remembered for his height as well as his robotic man goal celebrations.
Share your goodwill messages to him as he retires from football.