A traditional English pub. Pic by Pixabay

Crouch will always be there!

My first touch with sports t-shirts came back in the distant 2006! I was 23 years old and I was in England, specifically in Brighton, for a journalistic mission unrelated to football. It was June, and everything was moving at a football pace, as the World Cup was about to start in Germany in a few days, and England wanted to bring it home from then on!

Peter Crouch had completed his first season at Liverpool under Rafa Benítez (32 matches in the Premier League, 8 goals, and 6 assists), and this was the perfect ticket for the national football team. Sven-Göran Eriksson designated him as one of the forwards for the "Three Lions" (along with Owen, Rooney, and Walcott) for the games in the stadiums of Germany, wanting to take advantage of his height, despite his "clumsy" silhouette (like all his coaches, in fact). On June 3, 2006, Crouch scored the only hat-trick with England in the friendly match against Jamaica at Old Trafford.

I watched this match in a traditional pub and I remember it vividly. Several events were processed in just one football match! It was my first trip abroad, it was the characteristic smells of the pub, and the faces of English fans who zealously consumed pints of beer, as well as the mystique of watching the England national team where it all began.

When Crouch scored, he celebrate with his robot moves, balancing between funny and festive, while it went viral at the same time through the era's meager but more authentic social media. In the following days, he became a headline in the English newspapers. However, what I will never forget is the lightning-fast reflexes of t-shirt manufacturers, who had already taken over the market with shirts that read "do the Crouch" and had, as a central image, a drawing of the tall striker dancing like a robot. It was my first contact with a sports t-shirt, not a team jersey but a t-shirt! For me, Crouch will always exist, his incredible celebration, and that clever design that ignited the flame in me for the first time!

*cover photo via pixabay