Pompey bought Peter Crouch from QPR in 2001 for £1.25 million.
Crouch scored 18 league goals in only 37 starts for Portsmouth – benefiting from the crossing of Robert Prosinecki – and that in a side that for much of the season looked destined to be in a relegation battle.
In March 2002, Aston Villa made a successful £5 million bid for Crouch.
He scored on his home debut for Villa, the equalising goal against Newcastle United, and managed to net twice in seven games. However, Crouch failed to hold down a regular place in the Aston Villa side in the following 2002-03 season.
Looking for first team football, he was loaned to Norwich City from September to December 2003. Although he scored only four times in 15 appearances, he was highly impressive and remains to this day popular with Norwich City supporters. So popular, in fact, he had a song made up about him (he’s tall, he’s lean, he’s a freaky goal machine).
Crouch was sent off for retaliation during Norwich’s 3-1 win at Walsall, but nonetheless his spell at Norwich renewed interest in his abilities from other clubs.
At the end of the three-month loan he returned to Aston Villa, and scored a brace against Leicester City, a late winner at Middlesbrough and the opener at Bolton.
Norwich City also recognised his contribution to the 2003-04 season that saw them win the First Division Championship by awarding him a championship medal.
Written by NinjaTim.
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