Peter Crouch has achieved sporting glory over the years, with his list of football achievements including representing England twice in the World Cup. His success on the pitch only tells half the story, however – the football star revealed in a documentary earlier in the year that he has battled with mental health issues over the years.
Peter Crouch, 38, has earned his place in the football hall of fame, with career highlights including being one of 28 players to have scored 100 or more Premier League goals, and holding the record for the most headed goals in Premier League history. He became known for his upbeat and playful personality on the pitch, exemplified by his famous robotic dancing goal celebration. The World Cup star may have brought positivity and morale to the game, but he has been through some dark chapters in his life too.
As part of a BBC one documentary for Mental Health Awareness Week earlier in the year, the England striker spoke candidly about his battle with mental health issues, which was a “big problem growing up”. He said: “When I first broke into the first team at QPR people judged me on my appearance,” said Crouch. “I’m the same size, and probably even skinnier than I am now. Although I make light of those things now, no teenager wants to go through these things. I had these hang-ups and I always used to cry. I used to cry at night when I was a kid of 14/15, [saying] ‘dad, why am I not the same as everyone else?’
His debut for England back in 2005 proved to be a particularly unpleasant experience, where he was met with booing when he came on the pitch. He said: “It was horrible, and I thought of my mum as I was coming on thinking she’s going to be crying her eyes out. Thankfully I did all right. He continued: “But when I was playing for England, because I was different, I felt I had to score at every single game and thankfully I did well. I thought that because of the way I look there was definitely a stigma against me and I was never Plan A, I was always Plan B.”
As the NHS (National Health Service) explains, difficult events and experiences can cause low spirits or depression, and underlying triggers can be wide-ranging, such as relationship problems, bereavement, sleep problems, stress at work, bullying, chronic illness or pain. A general low mood, which includes symptoms such as sadness and feeling anxious, generally improves after a few days or weeks, but depression on the other hand, can last for two weeks more and lead to increasing sense of hopelessness, explains the health body.