Peter Crouch admits he cried himself to sleep after horrific abuse and nearly quit as dad scrapped with fans in crowd | The Sun11/17/2022
PETER CROUCH has revealed horrific abuse from the stands early in his career drove him to consider quitting football.
The former Liverpool and Tottenham ace is in the Premier League 100 club after netting 108 times in 468 top-flight appearances.
But the 41-year-old admitted he found it "really difficult" in the early stages of his career to deal with vile abuse from rival fans.
Crouch, who stands at 6ft 7in, said he was often mocked because of his height.
And going into a packed stadium full of people aiming abuse at him was something that made him question whether being a pro was really worth it.
Crouch bravely revealed on the Diary Of A CEO Podcast: "I found it difficult at times, really difficult.
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"Especially football terraces as I got older and I was playing professionally, and then I started playing in the first-team.
"And all of a sudden it was one thing dealing with the odd person in the street saying 'aren't you tall' and another thing dealing with 30,000 people screaming obscenities at you, taking the pi** out of the way you look, laughing at you. That was difficult."
Host Steven Bartlett quizzed Crouch about crying himself to sleep as a teenager because of the abuse he received.
To which the 42-cap England striker nodded and said: "Yeah, there was times when I thought to myself 'Is it worth it? Is it worth going through this? Why am I putting myself through this?'
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"'It's all I've ever loved, it's all I've ever wanted to do but if people are going to laugh at me and take the pi** out of me, what is the point? Do I want it that much?'"
Crouch recalled a game against Gillingham in his very first season as a professional that made him question whether the abuse he was constantly receiving was worth staying in the game for.
It got so bad during the match his dad ended up brawling with members of the crowd.
Crouch said: "I'll always remember it, I was walking out at half-time of the game and my dad was rolling down the aisle in the Gillingham end having a fight with someone.
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"I thought 'Oh my god this is my first season in professional football. My dad's having a fight, I'm getting absolutely abused, my mum's crying. What am I doing? Why am I putting myself through this?'
"Of course I love football and that's what I want to be, but is it worth all this?"
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