Peter Crouch: Stoke City's former England striker still hungry for goals at the age of 36

Peter Crouch's winner at former club Southampton in May was the 193rd goal of his career
Peter Crouch's winner at former club Southampton in May was the 193rd goal of his career

Stoke City striker Peter Crouch insists he still has a big role to play at the age of 36.

The former England international, who will turn 37 halfway through next season, is the oldest striker playing in the Premier League.

But Crouch is confident that he can go beyond the end of his current two-year deal, which expires in June 2018.

"Getting to a certain age where people are supposed to be retiring has made me hungrier," he told BBC Radio Stoke.

"I want to stay around for a lot longer yet. I love what I do.

"Coming in every day and playing football, then having a match at the end of it all, to work towards, is something that I've always loved and still want to do."

Crouch, who joined the Potters from Tottenham Hotspur for £10m in 2011, has scored 54 goals in 201 appearances for the club, more than he managed for any of his seven previous sides.

His tally includes 10 last season - seven in the league and a hat-trick at Stevenage in the League Cup - which made him Stoke's top scorer.

Crouch number crunching

  • Crouch is just seven short of 200 career goals, with his eight different clubs, Spurs (twice), QPR, Portsmouth (twice), Aston Villa, Norwich City (loan), Southampton, Liverpool and Stoke City.
  • Of those 193 club career goals in 489 starts (plus 167 appearances as sub), 103 have been in the Premier League, putting him 23rd in the list of top scorers since football was 'reinvented' in 1992 - and top of the list for headers alone.
  • Another seven goals next season would not only take the 6 ft 7ins striker to his double century, it would put him alongside Emile Heskey (110) in the top 20 of Premier League goal scorers.
  • The players immediately ahead of him on that list are Didier Drogba (104), Darren Bent (106), Paul Scholes (106), Ryan Giggs (107), Heskey, Dion Dublin (11), Ian Wright (113), Steven Gerrard (120).
  • Of players who could still be playing in the Premier League next season, only Wayne Rooney (198), Jermaine Defoe (158), Sergio Aguero (122) have scored more.
  • Crouch's international strike rate was even better than his record at club level. Better than one every two games.
  • He scored 22 times, in 42 appearances, between May 2005 and November 2010, putting him 17th on England's all-time top scorers list.

The goal-den oldies

If Crouch carries on finding the net at Stoke beyond his 37th birthday on 30 January, he would join a select band of footballers who have scored in the Premier League in their 38th year.

Newcastle's Les Ferdinand and Gary Speed were both 37 when they scored final top-flight goals, as was goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel when he got his first, for Aston Villa in a 3-2 defeat to Everton in October 2001.

After firing Hull City to promotion in 2008, Dean Windass made just five appearances, and only one start in the top flight for the Tigers. But, at the age of 38, he did score against Crouch's Portsmouth before being moved on to Oldham.

Mick Harford (Wimbledon), penalty king Graham Alexander (Burnley), Blackburn midfielder Tugay, Crouch's own current boss Mark Hughes (also at Blackburn) and England full-back Stuart Pearce, with West Ham, were also 38 when they netted for the last time.

But the oldest was Teddy Sheringham, who scored the last of his 146 Premier League goals at the age of 40, for West Ham against Portsmouth on Boxing Day 2006.

Peter Crouch's boss Mark Hughes was 38 years and 149 days, and already player/manager of Wales, when he scored the last of his 64 Premier League goals for Blackburn Rovers in 2002
Peter Crouch's boss Mark Hughes was 38 years and 149 days, and already player/manager of Wales, when he scored the last of his 64 Premier League goals for Blackburn Rovers in 2002

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