I, Robot: How to Be a Footballer 2 by Peter Crouch (2019)
There's a bit in I, Robot – Crouch's second memoir in two years – where he describes Wayne Rooney's birthday party at a Manchester restaurant called Wing's. “At some stage in proceedings [Rooney] and I did a karaoke turn bolstered by Gareth Barry and Joe Hart,” Crouch writes. "We did Westlife's Flying without Wings, despite being literally within Wing's, which tells you something else about the mentality of footballers."
Those are the sort of pithy observations that pepper I, Robot, and what make Crouch a special breed of ex-pro. It is so astute, so funny, so lovably self-effacing, that it has catapaulted the 6'7” beanpole of the box into one of England's most beloved footballers – no longer for his feet; now for his mind.
Take Crouch on the subject of taking books to away games: “Maybe one man out of twenty might be carrying a book, which will mark him out as a dangerous maverick who should sit with the staff rather than his fellow players.”
If there's one sports book that every football fan should read this year, it is this – assuming, that is, they have already read Crouch's first book, How To Be A Footballer (if your dad hasn't read that, get him started there).