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Peter Crouch taunts Andy Murray

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Peter Crouch told Sportsmail in 2017 that he could have been a pro tennis player had had he not pursued a career in football.

And the former England striker got his chance to put his credentials to the test as he took on two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray in a game of padel tennis for Children in Need, filmed before the coronavirus pandemic.

A tense match saw the pair exchange insults ranging from Crouch asking Murray where his mother Judy was to the Scot claiming the ex-striker was used to sitting on the bench. But did our columnist come out on top?

After arriving for the game, Crouch asks Murray: ‘are you not as quick as you used to be?’ referring to the smaller size of the padel court.

The former striker then claimed the pair are ‘cut from the same cloth’, adding: ‘We’re both icons, we’re both winners and we both managed to marry women out of our league.’

Remaining on the attack, Crouch continued: ‘Your mum not here today? What are you like at tennis ball keepy-ups? Actually, do people in Scotland even play football?’

But Murray was quick to respond. After Crouch asked: ‘are we going to sit on the bench and drink squash? I always wanted to do that,’ Murray replies: ‘didn’t you spend most of your career sat on the bench?’

Following the pre-game sledging, the pair finally got down to playing. Murray got off to a strong start, winning the first game easily with Crouch being pulled all over the court by the Scot’s impressive shots.

After asking for a time-out, Crouch made a phone call to get some much needed advice on how to take down his opponent.

On the other end of the line was former British No 1 Tim Henman.

Ignoring his own offer of help, Crouch asked Henman: ‘I wanted to know if you had the numbers of anyone decent who fancies it (coming to help) Federer? Nadal? I’ll even take Gregory Rusedski.’

But Henman told Crouch the only way to beat Murray was by cheating. ‘Wind him up, distract him, muck about and pronounce his name wrong – he hates that.’

Crouch took the advice on board and returned to the court with a new game plan.

His tactics of distraction, which included calling Murray ‘Tim’ and reading a book called ‘Who is Andy Murray?’, worked a treat with the former British No 1 missing all of his shots in the next game.

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