Former England international footballer Peter Crouch will fulfil a long-time ambition when he appears as an artist at this year’s Isle of Wight Festival..

By Peter White

Crouch and his wife Abbey Clancy, have been regular visitors to the Festival, but this year the 6ft 7in ex-striker will take centre stage for the first time. But he won’t be there as a DJ, a singer or even to perform his iconic robot dance, which often formed part of his goalscoring celebrations. 

Instead, he and colleagues Chris Stark and Steve Sidwell will be in the Big Top on the opening night of the Festival, Thursday, June 20th, to present his hugely popular ‘That Peter Crouch Podcast’, the UK’s most listened-to sports podcast. His appearance will come straight after the Denmark v England game at the European Football Championships (Euro 24) in Germany, and Crouchie promises to bring football banter, insight discussions and banging tunes to the Festival.

He smiled: “My opportunity (to appear at the Festival) has been a long time coming. I have made a few cameo appearances, and coming out with Kasabian was unforgettable, but a bit short lived, as they didn’t want me upstaging them! So yes, it’s definitely nice to be up there as an artist in my own right this year.”

So what can the revellers in the Big Top expect? He said: “We can’t give too much away at the moment, but anyone who is a fan of the podcast and has been down to one of our ‘Crouchfest’ will know we don’t do things by halves. Anyone who isn’t familiar needs to get down there; they won’t be disappointed. There will be some guaranteed laughs, probably at mine or Starkie’s expense, massive tunes and guest appearances from people you might not be expecting!” 

Crouchie is desperately hoping the podcast will coincide with an England victory in the Euros. The striker, who scored 22 goals in 42 appearances for England, added: “I think we have got one of the strongest chances we have had in a long time. When you look at the qualifiers, some of the ‘big’ teams in Europe didn’t quite get the results you’d expect from them. France are probably our biggest threat but I’m always gonna back the Three Lions for the win. I’ve got no doubts the lads are going to do us proud so we can have a massive celebration after.”

The former football ace, who has subsequently built a successful career, not just with his podcast, but as a TV celebrity and football pundit, is hoping to stay on to take in more of the Festival beyond his own appearance. But he reckons he will have to get permission from his wife first. He added: “If I get the ‘sign off’ from Abbey I will definitely be staying past Thursday. The Streets are one of my favourite artists, and have been for years, so hopefully I’ll be able to catch them on the Friday night.”

In a football career that spanned 20 years, Crouchie played for nine different top-flight clubs, making 499 appearances. He appeared for both South coast rivals Southampton and Portsmouth, as well as Spurs, QPR, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Norwich, Stoke and Burnley.

He is delighted several of them did very well in the season that recently finished, saying: “Yes I am absolutely buzzing for all my former clubs who are doing so well at the moment. It’s always nice to see clubs where you have had a personal connection with the staff and fans getting the results they deserve. As for my favourite club? The honest answer is it completely depends whose company I am in!”