Garth Crooks OBE

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Garth played principally for Stoke City and Tottenham, with whom he was a prolific goal scorer and an FA Cup winner at Wembley in 1981.

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 an expert and outspoken pundit, and presents the occasional political programme.

Garth Anthony Crooks began his career at hometown club Stoke City, scoring 48 goals in 147 appearances. He became most famous following a high-profile transfer to Tottenham Hotspur in 1980 – With Crooks leading the line, Spurs won two FA Cups and the 1984 UEFA Cup, won against Anderlecht.

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.

Crooks represented England at international level making four appearances for the England Under-21s.

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, Lee Dixon and Mark Lawrenson). He is occasionally seen interviewing players for BBC television after league football matches.

He also names his “best eleven” footballers each week on the BBC website. He is now on the board of North West London school Capital City Academy.

One of the most respected figures in broadcasting history, Garth Crooks is in demand as an after dinner speaker and event host.

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