A common cliche used for footballers is that they are larger than life. Sometimes in personality as in the case of the diminutive but superlative Lionel Messi. Sometimes, though, it can be literal.
In the case of Peter Crouch, it was definitely mostly the latter. Given that he was listed as being 6 foot 7 inches tall, it cannot be denied that Peter Crouch is, in fact, a person who is larger than life.
But based on the reaction pouring in after the former Liverpool striker and England international formally announced his retirement from professional football, it’s clear that Crouch left his mark on everyone he encountered.
As far as Liverpool are concerned, the dancing and goal scoring phenomenon was brought in by Rafa Benitez. That year, Crouch netted 13 times as Liverpool brought home the FA Cup.
Known widely as an affable fellow and for his affable demeanor and easy-going nature, Crouch endeared himself to the fans. All that despite a total goal haul that isn’t exactly lighting the world a light. Larger than life personality to go with that physical frame to boot.
In fact, those aforementioned dance moves - the robot, in particular - seem to keep Crouch firmly rooted in the status of cult heroes at Anfield. And given that he’d already happened to score a worldie or two while wearing the Red shirt, all this adds up to a generally positive legacy for the lanky striker.
It can be difficult at times to sort out precisely how to memorialize a player that you didn’t have much of a connection with. Crouch’s terms of service with the club had lapsed by the time I became a fan, after all.
But knowing the way some of my friends - people I trust and am endeared to, here - speak of Crouch, I know that he was one of the fun ones. A fan favorite, goal scorer, and dancer extraordinaire. Enjoy retirement, Crouchy. You’ll never walk alone.