Peter Crouch tells Chris Evans about his new book, How to be an Ex Footballer

Virgin Radio

14 Oct 2022, 11:09

Chris Evans and Peter Crouch at Virgin Radio.

Football star turned bestselling author Peter Crouch joined The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky to talk about his fourth book, How to be an Ex Footballer.

In his new book, which was released yesterday (13th October), the former England striker goes in search of what footballers do when they leave the game and find themselves thrown into the real world. Peter told Chris: “This is just about me being in football for 20 years. Every single day, that’s all I’ve ever known, and then… bang, you’re just thrust into something else. And lots of players that I interviewed for this book have gone into weird and wonderful things. Not just punditry or coaching or management. There’s a varied array of jobs that people have gone into.”

Talking about what we learn at school, the former Liverpool and Tottenham player said: “I don’t know why we’re not taught about mortgages or bank accounts, but we’re taught Pythagoras Theorem. I’ve never used that in my life, but I’d love to know these other things, life skills, if you know what I mean.”

In his book, Peter goes in search of a second career and, on the way, he speaks to those staying in the sport, including coaches, managers, owners and pundits, and those moving on to pastures new, including actors, foodies, politicians and men of God. “Gavin Peacock, Chelsea central midfielder, he’s now a priest in Canada. Arjan de Zeeuw was a centre-half for Portsmouth and Wigan - I played against him - he’s now a narcotics detective in Holland! Some of the jobs people have got, it’s very different from the norm, but exciting, and I love speaking to them.”

Speaking about one ex-pro who changed paths, Peter recalled a trip to the cinema with his wife, Abbey Clancy. “We were watching the film The Theory of Everything. Amazing film, but I just wasn’t expecting a Chelsea centre-half to be in it! I was sitting with Abbey and it was a great film and then the doctor came in, and I said: ‘That’s Frank Leboeuf!’ And she said: ‘I don’t care.’ And I said, ‘No, seriously, that is definitely Frank Leboeuf!’ And she said, again, ‘I don’t care in the slightest.’ 

Peter explained how he confirmed it was indeed the French former international footballer. “We proceeded to watch the film, and I made her sit, the whole of the cinema had gone, the lights came on, the credits were coming up, and right at the end, it was The Doctor, Frank Leboeuf. And I was like ‘YEAH!’” he said.

Speaking about how some former players move into management, and how he didn’t, Peter said: “There are times when I think I’m missing out. When I saw Scott Parker getting promoted, I feel like I’m never going to have that buzz. I’m never going to have that team around me and that chance to win a game or win a trophy again. That’s never going to be there for me. There’s something inside me that feels a bit hurt by that.”

The former Liverpool and Spurs player added: “I totally understand the buzz, and when you’re in it every single day, it’s hard to get out of that.” 

However, Peter, who is currently a panellist on the current series of The Masked Dancer, also said: “I’m very lucky and fortunate that I’m doing something, again, that I enjoy.” 

When Chris asked what he has learned about life, the former England striker said: “My own experiences are, certainly in football, you’re never as good as people think you are, and you’re never as bad as people think you are. 

“You get built up to be this, and you think, ‘Just take it all with a pinch of salt, because next week someone’s going to tell me how bad I am, because I’ve not scored.’”

The host of That Peter Crouch Podcast concluded: “And people will always try and put you down, but as long as you’ve got that inner belief, and keep having that, and good people around you, you’ll always be okay.

How to be an Ex Footballer is out now.

For more great interviews listen to  The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky, weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or  catch up on-demand here.