Paddy Power ambassador Peter Crouch opened up on the best defenders he played against and explained why Queens Park Rangers has a special place in his heart on the latest episode of our From The Horse’s Mouth podcast.
When I first started at QPR when I was 19, I played against three of the ‘original’ Arsenal back four – Lee Dixon, Tony Adams, Steve Bould and actually Ashley Cole, not Nigel Winterburn.
Adams, for me, had everything. He was strong, he read the game, he was good in the air. He just gave me an absolute lesson.
I was 19 and just thought ‘I’m not ready for this level yet’. He gave me a schooling and it was amazing, really.
It gave me a kick up the arse and made me want to work harder.
As I got a little bit older, Sol Campbell and John Terry were probably the toughest I faced.
When people ask me which club I would most like to go back to, maybe as a coach or manager, I must say that I’ve always fancied it at QPR.
I’ve always wanted to go back, having started out there as a kid, and always thought I would go back as a player.
The times I remember there… I was 19, still living at home with my parents and I used to walk to training.
We’d play on the Saturday and most of my mates were fans and had season tickets, and they’d always bet on me to score the first goal.
If it came in, we were all out that night and I must have scored about seven or eight ‘first goals’ that year.
I’d look up at the crowd and see all the boys dancing and singing! I get to play for QPR, we’ve won the match, and I get to walk out of the ground to the local Irish pub Jono’s on the Uxbridge Road.
It was one of the best times of my life, and I always wanted to go back and do that again.
Obviously it would be very different now, but you’d still get that buzz. If I had to manage one, it would be good to go and manage QPR.
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