PETER CROUCH has recalled how Manchester United fans booed him on one of his very first games for England.
Crouch made 42 appearances for the Three Lions, scoring 22 goals.
He played at two World Cups under Sven Goran Eriksson and Fabio Capello, yet only managed to notch one goal at the major tournament – coming in a 2-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago in 2006.
In his 20-year playing career, the six foot seven Stoke striker has had to endure some harsh treatment from the crowd.
But not many slurs from the sidelines have affected him as much as the boos at Old Trafford when he came on a substitute for England against Poland in 2005.
Speaking on That Peter Crouch Podcast, the 37-year-old said: “I was getting it quite a bit.
“I was getting it on the street and in various places and it was a little bit too much.
“It takes me to one of my first England games, where it’s actually been serious and sort of affected me personally, when I got booed as I was coming on.
“It was at Old Trafford and I was playing for Liverpool at the time, but I was like: ‘it’s one of my first England games? I’ve played for England about five times?’ You know.
“When I was coming on, I think I was coming on for Shaun Wright-Phillips, the whole stadium was booing and I was like ‘what’s going on?’
“A lot of people thought I wasn’t good enough to play for England at the start and that’s how I took that booing initially.
“I’ve worked all my life to get to this point, it’s such a proud moment for me coming on for England, and your hear that. I’ve brought everyone there, family, friends, my sister, everyone. And obviously I got that kind of reception.”
While his Liverpool links most probably caused the hostile reception at Old Trafford, Crouch’s unorthodox height has been a trait opposition supporters have poked fun at consistently over the years.
Yet, he can see the funny side.
“When I first started, I was very different to the average footballer body-shape wise. People were like ‘what’s this?’
“So when I first started I got absolutely abused. ‘Freak, does the circus know you’re here?’
“Although yeah, it’s funny I suppose.”
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