Powered By Pixels
06 December 2023

Abbey Clancy: Peter received a lot of criticism – so in our family we do positive praise

06 December 2023

Model and TV presenter Abbey Clancy has revealed that “positive praise” is key when supporting her children’s sporting activities, after her footballing legend husband Peter Crouch received “a lot of abuse” from fans.

“Pete suffered quite a lot negative criticism on his physical features and how he played,” said Clancy, 37. “I cannot believe he actually made it as a footballer having to go through all of that, because if it was me, and I was suffering that kind of abuse, I would have quit.”

Crouch played for Portsmouth, Aston Villa, Liverpool and Spurs as well as England before retiring in 2019, scoring more than 100 top-flight goals during his career.

The couple, who first started dating in 2006 and married in 2011, have four children – Sophia, 12, Liberty, eight, Johnny, five, and Jack, four – and all have sporting interests.

“They were really upset that their dad had to listen to all these horrible comments, so it’s definitely at the forefront of our minds when we’re watching our kids [play] and others, to always be positive,” added Clancy, who won Strictly Come Dancing in 2013.

The sideline bullying 6ft 7in Crouch received on his way to Premier League football was documented in Prime Video’s The Peter Crouch Film, released in June 2023.

A sporty family, Sophia is an “incredible swimmer”, Liberty “absolutely loves football”, and the boys have just started playing too, Clancy explained. “I don’t think the footballing gene has passed down to them quite yet,” she added with a laugh.

The presenter, who also hosts The Therapy Crouch podcast with her husband, said she’s the one who takes the kids to their activities (“Me who has zero sporting knowledge!”), as Peter works on the weekends doing commentary for BT Sport and talkSPORT.

“What we try and do in our family is positive praise, and to encourage the kids, because if there’s too much pressure or shouting, ‘That wasn’t good’, it just has a negative impact. When I’m in the [swimming] galas with Sophia, I turn into a complete maniac – I’m the loudest in the arena, screaming my head off,” she added.

It’s why she’s working with Google Pixel 8 and the new video feature AI-led feature Audio Magic Eraser, which can remove unwanted shouting and loud commentary from video footage taken at sports games.

“When [Sophia] wants me to show her the videos at the end, it’s just got my screaming voice all over them. So the [Pixel 8] has the perfect tool for all parents who can’t help themselves when they’re screaming at the sidelines,” explained Clancy. “It’s quite a difficult task as a parent to stay silent – most think that they’re experts on the sidelines!”

Actions like shouting negative criticism at players, berating the referees, and attempting to coach from the sidelines were voted the most disruptive sideline habits, according to survey of 2000 people by Google.

Surprisingly though, Clancy has never been a football fan. “My dad’s a football maniac, my brother was a footballer, playing for Liverpool and Everton. So when I got with Pete, I wasn’t that impressed with the whole football side of things, because it conjures up memories of me as a child being cold and wet on the sidelines!”

Their parenting styles are pretty different, she added. “Pete’s the best dad, always playing with the kids, I’m more of the stricter parent, the stressed parent. I want the kids to do their homework, do well at school, I want them to listen. Pete’s so laid-back he’s asleep, nothing phases him. I’m always in a panic.

“But we love family life. I feel incredibly lucky to have four kids. I love the chaos and love them being around. We’ve got our own gang, everywhere we go, we have a laugh,” she continued, “It can be a nightmare at times as well. You have these images of, ‘Let’s do a road trip’, then they’re killing each other for two hours, fighting over iPads!

“If you don’t laugh, you’re going to cry… There’s been times where the dogs are running around, the kids are screaming and fighting, and Pete and I just look at each other and go, ‘Oh my God, what have we got ourselves into here?'”

On top of that, having her own career has always been important too. “Every parent would love to be with the kids 24 hours a day. But it’s not realistic, we’ve all got bills to pay. Its also important, I think, to set a good example of working hard, and hopefully enjoying your job and doing what you love,” Clancy added.

“Hopefully, when my girls are older, and the boys, they say, ‘My mum worked hard for us and we had a great life’. My mum always worked – I think that’s where I got my ambition and drive from.”

For a chance to win a Google Pixel 8 – with the new AI-powered feature that removes noise distractions from videos – for grassroots football team members and parents, email [email protected] with club details.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox