PREMIER LEAGUE and England legend Peter Crouch revealed the proudest moment of his life was "taken away" after abuse at Old Trafford left his mum in tears.
Crouch, 41, had a long and successful playing career, turning out for top clubs like Liverpool and Tottenham.
The unique 6ft 7in striker also made 42 appearances for his country, scoring 22 times.
However, Crouch didn't have an easy time as a player, often feeling the odd man out due to his size.
And during a dry spell in front of goal for Liverpool, which stretched 18 games, he was booed by England fans at Old Trafford in a 2005 fixture against Poland.
Crouch was only two games into his England career at that point in time and was brought on as a second half substitute for Shaun Wright-Phillips in the 2-1 win.
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But he was booed by England fans with his family and friends in the crowd, which reduced his mum to tears.
He told The Diary Of A CEO podcast: "There might have been an element of the fact I'm a Liverpool player, I'm at Old Trafford, obviously a lot of Man Utd fans.
"But it was during the course of when I wasn't scoring for Liverpool, and I was having a real tough time anyway.
"I had 18 games where I didn't score for Liverpool.
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"I felt like with England I had to be super human – it goes back to the thing where I look different a bit I wasn't seen as what an England striker should look like.
"And I think that was genuinely a thing.
"I'm so proud to represent my country but I've got my sister, my mum and my dad, friends in the crowd, and everyone's excited, they're all talking to me before the game about me potentially coming on and making an appearance, get the cap, and then you come on and get booed by 70,000.
"So what I'm saying is; don't EVER feel sorry for footballers, don't.
"But my family, like my mum, was in bits.
"The proudest moment of my life was sort of taken away a bit because of that.
"We put ourselves in that position, I'm not going to sit here and cry about it, it's just disappointing for my family more than anything."
Crouch recognised that he has put himself in the firing line for criticism – but his mum hasn't.
The 108 Premier League goal striker says the abused hurt his mum, who didn't "need to hear it".
Crouch continued: "That's difficult. Dealing with the family side of it. I know what I've done, I've put myself in a position to be shot at.
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"I'm sure you feel the same, you know, doing this podcast, whatever you do, you've put yourself in a position to be shot at but your mum hasn't.
"She doesn't need to hear that. It killed her a bit."
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