It is eight years today, would you believe, since Peter Crouch scored arguably the best goal ever seen at the bet365 Stadium, and arguably the best of its kind in the Premier League.
And for one commentator, BBC Radio Stoke’s Lee Blakeman, that Saturday on March 24, 2012, was truly memorable for personal and professional reasons as he was making his Stoke City ‘debut’ behind the mic.
He was on commentary when Crouchy’s goal – route one at its finest – saw goalkeeper Asmir Begovic clear to deep inside the Man City half where Crouch headed the ball on for Jermaine Pennant to return possession with just about his only header in a Stoke shirt.
With the ball still not having touched the ground, Crouch controlled with his raised right foot and then, as the ball sat up from beyond the right corner of the Man City penalty area, the big fella volleyed across and over a diving Joe Hart to find the top corner from what must have been 30 yards out.
And here’s how Lee’s commentary went at the time:
“Begovic plays a high ball to the Stoke right and Crouch flicks it on. Pennant brings it down and he gives it back to Crouch… and Crouch puts in the shot from 25 yards… oh my goodness me… that is one of the goals of the season .
“Peter Crouch took it on his chest and volleyed it into the top corner. He gives Stoke the lead against Manchester City and that is payback for the FA Cup Final.
“Stoke put a huge dent into Manchester City’s title charge, what a goal from Peter Crouch. Stoke lead at the Brit – Stoke 1, Manchester City 0. Peter Crouch, take a bow.
“Peter Crouch, with the goal of the season for sure. Stoke fans take the opportunity to mock the Manchester City supporters, they’re doing the Poznan, shouting `who are you?’ and they’ve earned the right to.
“Peter Crouch, with an unbelievable strike.”
And here it is…
Lee adds: “What a day, what a goal, what a moment! It’s one that nobody who was inside the stadium that day will ever forget, the greatest goal it’s seen to date – surely?!
“For me it was an extra special day as it was my first ever Premier League commentary and my first ever Stoke City commentary – standing in for the immeasurable Nigel Johnson.
“It was one of those moments where, as Crouch struck the ball on the turn, as I was talking I was just thinking, “that’s in that’s in” and then all of us went wild! “Oh my goodness me” were the words I used at the time I think, but all sorts were running through my mind!
“A goal that was stunning to witness, with the added extras being that it was against Manchester City towards the end of what was the AGUEROOOOO!!! season, and it was also past the England international goalkeeper at the time in Joe Hart.
“It’s something that John Acres, who was commentating alongside Martin Spinks and I at the time, still sulks about – the fact the goal fell on my watch and not his. You’d think after eight years he’d have let it go, but oh no!