I don’t think there’s a more likeable footballer in England than Peter Crouch. Immediately memorable as, at 6’7, he towers over any other Premier League player, Crouch went from early ridicule to broad recognition as a pretty talented player. He holds the record for most Premier League headed goals, he appeared in Champions League final for Liverpool, scored at the World Cup finals for England and has an impressive 22 goals in 46 England international appearances. He is also very very funny as his twitter usage and widely quoted one-liners reveal.
Likeable as Crouch is, I’m not sure I’d want to read his autobiography (turns out he published one at age 26 in 2007!). The USP is that he is really tall and got some stick until he proved he’s actually quite a good player – not the stuff of a bestseller. Wisely, Crouch has written a very different book to the standard footballers fare. How to be a Footballer is a wide lens look at the game from a multitude of angles – the dressing room, transfers, agents, etc. Crouch dips into his vast stock of anecdotes to illuminate life behind the scenes in the Premier League.
It’s an entertaining read that any fan of English football will enjoy. The jokes work, the anecdotes are never too cruel, and there’s plenty of the self-depreciating humour you’d expect from the man who famously answered the question of what he would be if he wasn’t a footballer with the answer “a virgin”. It’s light, informative and very funny. An ideal Christmas present for any football fan.
EDIT: I’ve also just read the follow up book “I, Robot, How to be a Footballer 2”. It’s equally as entertaining as the first book. Wouldn’t recommend reading them back to back as the anecdotes all merge together in memory.