Secrets behind Abbey Clancy and Peter Crouch's marriage and her football hatred

Abbey Clancy and Peter Crouch have revealed the secret of their 10-year marriage – she hates football.

As the couple celebrate their anniversary this month, Abbey admits: “I’d call him at five to three and I’m like, ‘Where are you? Why aren’t you answering your phone?’

“And he’s like, ‘I’m just about to go on the pitch.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, sorry.

’“The only thing I like is penalties. It’s surprising we’ve lasted so long.”

But Peter, 40, says he “absolutely loves” how 35-year-old Abbey feels about the game.

He reveals: “I’d come home from football and Ab would change the subject the minute I walked through the door. If I’d played a good game or a bad game, it was gone.

“It’s nice to be able to relax at home –straight away it’s about the kids, what they’ve done, Ab’s day… She doesn’t even ask me what the score is or if I’d played good or bad.”

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Footballer Peter Crouch and model Abbey Clancy in the grounds of Stapleford Park in Leicester following their wedding in 30/06/2011
The couple got married in Leicester in 2011

Abbey chips in: “He’s just scored a hat-trick and I’m like, ‘You’re late for dinner!’”

It would only be later when the pair sat down to watch Match of the Day that Abbey would notice he had scored yet again – and marked the occasion with a lavish on-pitch celebration, such as his iconic World Cuprobotic dancing.

But Peter – one of only 29 players to have scored 100 or more Premier League goals –says: “I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

As the pair talk about their marriage on Fraser T. Smith’s 12 Questions podcast, Abbey says: “My brother Sean played for Liverpool and Everton, and Blackpool and Fleetwood.

“As a child, I got dragged to matches and my memory of it is being cold, wet and bored.

“To this day, when I watch football, all I see – unless it’s Ronaldo playing, or Peter – is just men running round.”

Abbey Clancy attends The BRIT Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena on February 18, 2020
The pair met at a bar in Liverpool in 2006

The pair also tell how Peter nearly took former Strictly winner Abbey’s surname when they wed, as she “prefers Clancy to Crouch”.

Peter, who played for a string of clubs including Spurs and Liverpool and was capped 42 times for England, says: “She wears the trousers, so I might as well have…”

The couple met at a bar in Abbey’s native Liverpool in 2006 – the year she was runner-up on Britain’s Next Top Model, on which she later became a judge.

When they married five years later at a 500-acre estate in Leicestershire, Abbey wore a £10,000 Giles Deacon gown.

She had given birth to the couple’s first child, Sophia, just three months earlier.

Abbey Clancy and Peter Crouch attend the Welcome Dinner prior to The Costa Smeralda Invitational golf tournamen at Pevero Golf Club
Peter Crouch and Abbey Clancy will be celebrating their anniversary later this month

Peter and Abbey – who celebrate their anniversary on June 30 – have since had three more children: Liberty Rose, six, Johnny, three, and Jack, who turned two this week

Abbey recently told how the pair “hated” each other before Jack’s birth – but she has since described the youngster as a “gift from God”, and is delighted to have such a big family.

She says: “What makes me feel happy and loved is loving other people and trying to make them feel loved or feel happy. I just love people being happy.

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“One thing I do struggle with is having all these nice things and opportunities, but I want everyone who I love to be a part of it – otherwise I can’t be happy.”

Despite Abbey’s indifference to football, it plays a large part in what counts as love for Peter, who says love takes “many different forms”.

He adds: “I love what I do. I’m passionate about football, music… lots of things. But I immediately think of my family– they’re the people I’d put before myself.

“Football or music couldn’t get in the way of what I feel about Abbey and my kids.

The strongest is the love of my wife and children. If I had to quit everything so they could be happy, I’d do it in a heartbeat.”

Peter Crouch relives the moment he first met Abbey Clancy
Peter is one of 29 players to have scored 100 or more Premier League goals

Abbey’s efforts to fill their £3million Surrey home with love has not stopped with their four children.

The couple also have five ducklings, orphan lambs Lilly and Lola, two cats, new dog Jeffrey and Great Dane Ringo.

She says: “I think I’m trying to live the childhood I wanted through my children.

“We were never allowed pets or anything like that. I try and give them as many as I can.

“Pete didn’t want any of these animals but he absolutely loves them. He nurses the lamb on his knee, feeding it with a bottle, wrapped in a blanket.

“He likes to play this cruel animal-hater role, but he loves it. He said if I actually bring one more living thing into this house he’s going to leave me.

“I’m trying to make him take the hint…that’s why I keep getting them!”

Peter and Abbey with their children
Peter and Abbey with their children on holiday in Dubai

The pair often give glimpses into what keeps their marriage alive.

In January, Abbey shared a steamy close-up of the couple locking lips to mark Peter’s birthday, and wrote: “Happy 40th birthday baby I love you.”

And when they revealed Abbey was expecting their fourth child, Peter posted a snap of her in a bikini with the caption: “I blame Abbey for looking like this.”

He once joked on The Graham Norton Show he “would be a virgin” if he had never become a footballer.

Peter Crouch celebrates after scoring a goal during the Uefa Champions League qualifying group match between Liverpool v Besiktas on 06/11/2007
Peter retired from playing two years ago

And since his retirement from playing two years ago, the pair have been working together more and more, appearing on a number of podcasts as a duo.

Peter launched That Peter Crouch Podcast on the BBC and also fronts sports comedy game show Peter Crouch: Save Our Summer.

His podcast was the most listened to show on BBC Sounds last year, with a record weekly high of 3.5 million listeners.

In 2020, he also released his third book, I, Robot: How to Be a Footballer 2.

Yet Abbey admits she was “so scared” of Peter retiring – because she worried what he would do to fill the time.

She told the 12 Questions podcast: “He was coming to the end of his career and I could see it was on his mind.

“I just wanted him to be happy. The fact this podcast and book came along, everything went good. He enjoyed it so much.”

She jokes he could even go into one of his other loves –music – after rapping with DJ Luck & MC Neat on his podcast.

But Peter is delighted with the way things have worked out.

He says: “I was thinking about coaching, but then the podcast exploded. To go to games and talk about them is great.”

Peter reckons he and Abbey work well together because he has the faith while she has the “fear”.

He says: “She fears the worst, which is a good thing because I’m like, ‘We’ll be fine, it’s fine’. So at points where there’ve been illnesses, I just paper over things…she’s like, ‘No, you need to get that checked, you need to get that looked at’. That’s why we’re a good blend.”

Abbey adds: “I never get worried about myself. It’s always the other people that keep me awake at night.

“The important things – your family, your health, happiness, your goals, your life – that’s what you care about, making each day count.”


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