Peter Crouch admits he has a bit of work to do on his body before he gets the call for England veterans in Harry’s Heroes.
And he will have to spend time in the bar rather than the gym not to stand out too much in the squad of former pros overseen by Harry Redknapp for matches against old Germany internationals.
But former Stoke City striker Crouch is certainly a Redknapp favourite – and not the only one, at Tottenham and Portsmouth – and he was tuning in this week to watch the popular show on ITV.
And he was moved by players talking openly about the problems they have faced since hanging up the boots, not least his friend and former Stoke game changer Lee Hendrie, who spoke about his battle against depression.
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Crouch said in his weekly column for the Daily Mail: “Having looked at some of the frames of the players who were involved, – and their respective dates of birth – I think I need a few more pints, a few more years and a few more stone to put on before I can make that team!
“What I will say is that Jermain Defoe and I are in our own WhatsApp group and we are just waiting for the message from Harry to come and join him. We will see what we can do with Niko Kranjcar and make him an honorary Englishman!
“It was a really enjoyable programme but you are right – there was a serious element. Neil Ruddock’s health issues were addressed in the first programme and others spoke candidly about the battles they have faced.
“Lee Hendrie’s situation really struck a chord with me. Lee is a mate, someone I had great times with at Aston Villa but he’s been affected severely by depression.
“He will know that people who care about him are there for him. Life away from football is not as straightforward as you would think.”