STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND – APRIL 07: Peter Crouch of Stoke City during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur at Bet365 Stadium on April 7, 2018 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Burnley striker Peter Crouch has announced his retirement from football after 21 years as a professional.

Peter Crouch Announces Retirement From Football

21-Year Professional Career

Crouch’s contract at Burnley expired in June and the 38-year-old was unable to find a new team.

The former Aston Villa striker counts Liverpool and Portsmouth among the eleven clubs he featured for. Crouch also earned 42 caps for England.

“If you told me at 17 I’d play in World Cups, get to a Champions League final, win the FA Cup and get 100 Premier League goals, I would have avoided you at all costs,” Crouch said on Twitter.

“It’s been an absolute dream come true. Our wonderful game has given me everything. I’m so thankful to everyone who helped me get there and helped me stay there for so long.”

Crouch’s career began at Tottenham before spells on loan with Dulwich Hamlet and IFK Hassleholm. A move to Queens Park Rangers preceded moves to Portsmouth, Aston Villa, Norwich on loan, Southampton, Liverpool, Portsmouth again, Tottenham, Stoke City and Burnley.

The tall striker scored 108 goals – a Premier League record of 53 headers – in 468 Premier League appearances. Crouch also won the FA Cup in 2005-06 with Liverpool and played in the 2007 Champions League final.

Crouch: “Football, simply, made my dreams come true.”

In his Daily Mail column, Crouch said: “To go from being a regular starter to someone whose role is limited to 10 or 15 minutes off the bench has been hard to accept.

“I will be 39 in January but I am physically fit and could have carried on. What I didn’t want to be was someone who was thrown on to have balls smashed up to them.

“Football has opened up avenues that I never thought were possible when I started scoring goals in the Hayes and District league as an Under-10. Football, simply, made my dreams come true.

“I think back to when I was 17. I was a trainee at Tottenham but there were 10 forwards blocking my route to the first team. They loaned me out to Dulwich Hamlet then IFK Hassleholm in Sweden. Let’s be honest – you would not have taken odds on me making it then.

“Collecting shirts was never something that interested me but I collected memories and have stories that I will be able to tell my children’s children. This former footballer had the time of his life. It’s time to write the next chapters.”

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