Ledley on Crouchy: ‘I’ve always been his biggest fan’
Fri 12 July 2019, 14:52|Tottenham Hotspur
Legendary striker Peter Crouch today (Friday 12 July) announced his retirement as a player, aged 38.
A cult hero who scored some of the most important goals in our modern history, the towering front man initially came up through our youth system but left us for QPR in 2000 without having broken into the first team.
He subsequently had spells with Aston Villa, Southampton, Liverpool – where he won the FA Cup in 2006 and was a Champions League finalist the following season – and Portsmouth before returning here in 2009 and playing a key role as we emerged onto the Champions League stage, scoring 24 goals in 93 appearances in all competitions before moving on to Stoke City in 2011. Having also played for England at two World Cups, he finished his career back in the Premier League with Burnley earlier this year.
Legendary former captain Ledley King was pals with Crouchy when the pair were 14-year-olds in the youth system here in the 1990s, often training together in the old ballcourts at White Hart Lane. They were later reunited upon the striker’s return as a first team player.
“I’ve always been his biggest fan. I played with him from schoolboy level and always recognised the talents and abilities he had,” said Ledley after learning of Crouchy’s retirement today.
Memorable Peter Crouch goals for us
- The winner at Manchester City to clinch fourth and a place in the Champions League in May, 2010.
- A hat-trick in the second leg of the Champions League play-off against Young Boys to secure a place in the group stage.
- Our first Champions League group stage goal at Werder Bremen.
- A goal in our memorable 3-1 win against Inter Milan at the Lane.
- The icing on the cake, the winner as we toppled AC Milan in the San Siro in February, 2011.
“He was someone who had to leave, to go away and get first team football elsewhere in order to develop and kick on but I had no doubt in his ability, having seen him close up, and there was no question that he was going to make it.
“He’s obviously not the average size or stature for a footballer but one thing he’s always had is great technique. You can see that with some of the goals he scored and he probably surprised a few people in that respect. From day one, what he had to work on was his heading and maybe his strength – that was going to come a bit later than the other kids our age. I could definitely see there was a quality player in there and for him to have played and performed at the highest level up until the age of 38 is fantastic.
“When he came back in 2009, he scored so many important goals for us, no bigger than the one at City (2010) that put us into the Champions League for the following season. He had a great record at international level for England and then he did really well in the Champions League for us. Foreign teams just weren’t used to playing against someone of his size, stature and ability.
“For him to have started off his career here and then to have come back and made such an impact in the history of the Club, it’s fantastic and I wish him all the best in the next chapter of his life.”