These are busy times for Crouch as he shuttles between Lancashire and the family home in Surrey. On the work front, he appears well set for a successful media career if he wants one; his autobiography received positive reviews when it came out last autumn, and he has a popular BBC podcast up and running too. On the home front, his wife is pregnant with their fourth child. Is this really a good time to be considering a move to coaching? Crouch will not rule it out.
“I did a couple of things media-wise and they went really well, so I just carried on doing them,” he says. “I’m not the type of person to go backpacking for two years. I want to stay in football and I want to do something straight away, so as soon as I do retire, I’ll try my hand at things. So I’ve done my coaching badges, I’ve now got my A licence. I’ve done my B licence. I did a book, I’ve done a podcast and a few bits and pieces. I’ve tried my hand at both.
“I know football’s not going to last forever and I’d like to go straight into doing something different. I haven’t made my mind up yet. Coaching is something that appeals to me as well but the other side of it has been quite fun.”
Crouch’s arrival in Burnley has been part of the adventure, even if it is likely to be a short-term move. The locals quickly took to him; one wit welcomed the 6ft 7in striker by hanging a banner from a bridge near Turf Moor with the message, “Welcome Crouchie – mind your head, lad”. A butcher in the town has named a sausage after him, Crouchie’s Red-Hot Robot, a reference to the former England forward’s robotic dance celebration.
“The sign on the bridge was a bit of fun,” Crouch says. “I’m sure they’re taking the piss, obviously, but it’s endearing. It’s nice. And honestly, the fans have all been great.”
Crouch has brought something a little different to east Lancashire; what he has not brought yet is a goal. He is certainly due one; he had scored only twice for Stoke this season before his January move. If he does find the net at Anfield today, bearing in mind the family consequences, how will he celebrate? “It certainly won’t be the dance,” he says.