Is there a player in the modern era as beloved as Peter Crouch?
As well as being one of the most consistent strikers in the Premier League this century, the lanky striker has made a name for himself as one of the funniest and honest footballers out there, with his podcast and social media antics all adding to his much-loved cult following.
His career has spanned many teams and leagues in England, from Tottenham and Liverpool in the Premier League to QPR and Norwich City in League One, but the only team he has returned to play for is Portsmouth.
A player for Pompey for two seasons in two different periods of time for the club, Crouch played under the Fratton Park lights in the 2000/2001 League One season and during the 2008/09 Premier League campaign, and the English international had a successful time on the south coast.
In 86 appearances for Pompey the now Burnley target man scored 33 goals for the club, helping Portsmouth to League One safety in 2001 as well as helping the club avoid the drop in the Premier League eight years later.
Crouch’s time at Portsmouth is best remembered for his impact on the team during their European run in the Europa League. The now 38-year-old striker scored two crucial goals against Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes in the group stage play-off round to send Pompey to the group stage in their first crack of continental football.
In Europe, Crouch was a part of every game in Portsmouth’s Europa League group stage matches as either a starting player or coming off the bench. However, the English striker only managed two more goals in the competition, a brace against SC Heerenveen in their final game.
Although Pompey came close to upsetting the status quo and getting into the Europa League Round of 32, their league form that season was underwhelming, with Crouch being one of the few standout players.
The striker played every minute of the 2008/09 league season, ending the campaign with 10 goals, one goal behind the team’s top scorer that season, Jermain Defoe. His final goals for the club came in a 2-1 win against Everton in a season where Portsmouth ended 14th in the league.
It proved to be Crouch’s final season on the south coast, though. The Tottenham Hotspur academy product returned to his boyhood club the following summer after it emerged that Portsmouth were in financial problems.
Two years in north London saw the striker sold on to Stoke City in 2011, where he would spend his longest time with a club at eight years, and in the most recent transfer window, Crouch was sold to Burnley in a player-swap with Sam Vokes.
Crouch’s time at Portsmouth was short, but it was memorable as he was a prominent fixture in the club’s only venture into Europe, and had it not been for financial problems it is likely the striker would have been at Pompey for further years.
Portsmouth fans, what is your favourite memory of Crouch at the club? Let us know!