Crouch first arrived at Fratton Park from QPR in 2001, signed by then Blues boss Rix.
He said: "Crouchie was a good young player when he came here the first time and Graham Rix deserves a lot of the credit for that.
"When I came here as director of football, Graham was pushing for Peter to come here. I backed Graham's judgement there and he came in and did a fantastic here.
"Then we got a £5m offer from Aston Villa for him and we couldn't afford to turn that down."