Garth Crooks Wikipedia

Garth Crooks
Personal information
Full nameGarth Anthony Crooks
Date of birth(1958-03-10) 10 March 1958 (age 56)
Place of birthStoke-on-Trent, England
Height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Playing positionForward
Senior career*
1976–1980Stoke City147(48)
1980–1985Tottenham Hotspur125(48)
1983–1984→ Manchester United (loan)7(2)
1985–1987West Bromwich Albion40(16)
1987–1990Charlton Athletic56(15)
National team
1979–1980England U214(3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (Goals).
Garth Anthony Crooks OBE (born 10 March 1958) is a retired English football player of Jamaican ancestry. He played for Stoke City, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, West Bromwich Albion and Charlton Athletic. Throughout his career he was an active member of the Professional Footballers' Association and was elected the first black chairman of the union. He currently works for the BBC as a pundit.


    Club career

    Crooks was born in Bucknall, Stoke-on-Trent, and progressed through the youth ranks at Stoke City signing professional contract forms in March 1976. He made his debut in April at home to Coventry City becoming the first black player to play for Stoke since Roy Brown in the 1940s. In the 1976–77 season his first full season he was top-scorer albeit with just six goals as Stoke's financial problems saw them relegated to the Second Division. Many black players at the time suffered racist abuse from the stands. Crooks was no exception, but his "cocky arrogance" meant it did little to affect him. His pace caused problems for Second Division defences as he again top-scored with 19 in 1977–78 as Stoke failed to mount a serious promotion attempt. Manager Alan Durban decided to play Crooks as a winger at the start of the 1978–79 season, a decision which Crooks openly criticised. He was restored to his striker role with the season coming to an end which saw Stoke gain promotion by beating Notts County on the final day of the season. He scored 14 goals in 1979–80 as Stoke safely avoided relegation but tensions between Crooks and Durban resurfaced which led to Crooks handing in a transfer request.

    He was sold to Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 1980 for a fee of £650,000, where he formed a successful striking partnership with Steve Archibald. With Crooks leading the line, Spurs won two FA Cups, and the 1984 UEFA Cup against Anderlecht (he was an unused substitute in the final's second leg). Crooks is frequently credited as the first black player to score in an FA Cup final for his equalising goal in a 3–2 win over Manchester City in 1981, though this was pre-dated by Mike Trebilcock in 1966. He later went on loan to Manchester United and had spells at West Bromwich Albion and Charlton Athletic before a knee injury forced his retirement in 1990.

    International career

    Crooks represented England at international level making four appearances for the England Under-21s for whom he scored three goals.

    Media career

    In 1988, Crooks became the first black chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association but gave up the role after retiring in 1990. He first worked in the media as a match analyst at the 1982 and 1990 World Cups and later worked as Match of the Day's reporter at the England camp at Euro 2000 and the 2002 World Cup. In the late 1990s, Crooks became presenter of the political television show Despatch Box. In 1999 he was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for his services to football punditry, specifically citing his ability to bring passion to football. He currently appears regularly on Final Score as a pundit and on rare occasions still appears on Match of the Day as a replacement for regular pundits (Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson). He is occasionally seen interviewing players for BBC television after league football matches. He also names his team of the week (Premier League) each week on the BBC website.

    Career statistics

    ClubSeasonLeagueFA CupLeague CupEuropeOther[A]Total
    Stoke City1975–76First Division200000000020
    1976–77First Division23610200000266
    1977–78Second Division4218211000004519
    1978–79Second Division4012105100004614
    1979–80First Division4012104200004514
    Tottenham Hotspur1980–81First Division4016946200005522
    1981–82First Division2713737052004618
    1982–83First Division268214343103715
    1983–84First Division10100101100122
    1984–85First Division2210312463003318
    Manchester United (loan)1983–84First Division720000000072
    West Bromwich Albion1985–86First Division195006200332810
    1986–87Second Division2111100000102311
    Charlton Athletic1986–87First Division7200000050122
    1987–88First Division2810102200103212
    1988–89First Division14231000000173
    1989–90First Division000000001010
    1990–91Second Division710020000091
    Career Total37512931114216169123476168

    A. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the FA Charity Shield, Football League play-offs and Full Members Cup.


    Tottenham Hotspur

    • FA Cup: 1981, 1982
    • UEFA Cup: 1984

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