DIARY: Crouch junior will be the Villain at home if he scores at Chelsea

Kids. Who'd have 'em. One moment you're changing their nappies and, before you know it, their monthly pay cheque is bigger than yours.

No mean feat if you're a kid whose dad is an agency boss. But Peter Crouch, the striker just sold by Portsmouth to Aston Villa for £5 million, has just put himself in line for a salary even Michael Baulk wouldn't sneer at.

Dad in this case just happens to be Bruce Crouch, the former Bartle Bogle Hegarty executive creative director and a founding partner of Soul.

So where did the 6ft 5-inch 21-year-old - who scored 19 goals for Pompey after joining the club from Queens Park Rangers last summer - inherit his ball-playing skills?

Apparently not from Crouch senior, a goalkeeper whose delusions of grandeur never got beyond turning out for London Transport in the Chiswick League and a guest appearance for Heart of Midlothian Supporters Club at Wormwood Scrubs (don't ask).

"Was I any good? Probably not as good as I thought I was,

Bruce confesses.

"But we knew Peter could play from the age of six."

And how will Crouch fils cope with a life of booze, birds and the sybaritic Midlands nightlife? "He's very well behaved and level-headed," his dad insists. "Not like me. I'm from the Gazza school of enjoyment."

However, the Crouch family loyalties will be tested to breaking point when Villa face Chelsea - where Bruce is a season ticket holder - in the final game of the season. Split allegiances? Not a bit. "I've told Peter that if he scores he'll be coming back to a one-parent family."


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