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Tottenham striker Crouch: I remain grounded. I had to battle in Ryman League

Tottenham striker Peter Crouch denies today's footballers are out of touch with the general public.

Crouch says playing for non-league Dulwich Hamlet as a teenager, leaving Spurs then having to work his way up the ladder all over again will mean he never gets too big for his boots.

Tottenham striker Crouch, whose model fiancee Abbey Clancy is expecting their first child, also dismissed as "nonsense" suggestions that footballers with their WAGs and flash cars are out of touch with fans.

Crouch, talking to Life's A Pitch website, said: "We earn great money for doing something we enjoy, but that doesn't mean we are out of touch with fans.

"I speak to fans all of the time in the street and after games. We certainly know what's going on and how hard it can be.

"I don't have to remind myself at all. Every day I drive into training I remember how lucky I am.

"It might be a bit different if you'd played at a club like Liverpool all your life but I'm different. I've played on loan at Dulwich Hamlet, I've played in the Ryman League, I've played in the Championship and some tough, tough games.

"In my opinion, I deserve to be where I am. But I will never take it for granted. I know how lucky I am.

"Dulwich Hamlet was big for me. I think I was 17, I hadn't properly developed upwards as an adult.

"I was growing upwards - but I wasn't growing outwards! I was getting battered every week and it was hard.

"It spurred me on. I knew it wasn't where I wanted to be, I wanted to reach the top level and maybe that toughened me up a lot."

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