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How To Be A Footballer By Peter Crouch with Tom Fordyce

Release date: 13th September, 2018
Publisher: Ebury Press

List Price: 18.00
Our Price: 13.00
You Save: 5 (27%)
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More than a decade ago, Peter Crouch was accredited with writing Walking Tall: My Story, an insipid sporting biography tracing his football journey from Dulwich Hamlet to England centre forward. The story stuck firmly to a familiar template, yielding a tale of progress from boy to man, lightly sprinkled with predictable anecdotes, seemingly added in an attempt to raise the book above the ordinary. Few believed the technique succeeded.

Crouch’s latest ‘autobiography’, How To Be A Footballer, by contrast, promises to be an enormous success, thanks to ghost writer Tom Fordyce’s ability to inject humour from the kick off and Crouch’s obvious willingness not to take himself too seriously.

Indeed, the beanpole striker comes across as a genuinely funny man. Oddly, there are even more anecdotes than appeared in his earlier biography, but they’re cemented together by a combination of comedy, Fordyce’s talent and experience – Crouch appreciates just how stupid many of the antics were that he and his teammates got up to, but today he views them as an elder statesman of the game and presents them while clearly prepared to laugh at himself. It makes for an entertaining read.

Crouch has no literary aspirations, although the book reads well – as though the 6’7” front man is happily chatting away to you, a style which ensures you build an empathy with him and smile at his rat-a-tat one-liners.

And there are plenty of those to leaven the text. From the millionaire teammate who turns up for big games with his stuff in a plastic bag and Crouch’s attempt to become Roy Keane’s best mate at a set of traffic lights, to a wonderful voyage exploring dressing room culture where the propensity for players to forget their shampoo is clearly something that doesn’t alter as they move from the amateur game.

How To Be A Footballer has no pretensions to add to sport’s literary canon, but well done Peter Crouch for having a sense of humour and showing us a side of football that will make everyone who reads it see the game a little differently again – with a smile on their face.

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