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Garth Anthony Crooks OBE (born 10 March 1958 in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire) is a English retired football player of Jamaican ancestry. Crooks was a reasonably prolific forward for Stoke City and later Tottenham Hotspur, where he formed a successful partnership with the needlessly posh-named Steve Archibald. Crooks went on to be chairman of the PFA for a while. He is now a pundit for the BBC on Match of the Day, Football Focus and Final Score, where he forms a frustrating partnership every week with Ray Stubbs and a randomly chosen member of Arsenal's famous "Back Four" from the mid-nineties.


Punditry Style[]

Garth Crook's punditry style is an interesting combination of three forms:

  1. Talking in a tone and with a level of detail as if he were giving a lecture about the subtleties of Epistemological Relativism whilst in fact stating the pissing obvious.
  2. Crafting tedious questions to be answered by no one in particular. Garth typically takes around 3 minutes to formulate each of these questions, which is particularly problematic during an episode of Final Score, as afterwards Ray Stubbs has to quickly run through the thirty odd goals scored in the meantime. Once Crooks spent so long pondering whether Bolton would return to the 'glory days' they experienced under Sam Allardyce that the BBC were forced to cancel Strictly Come Dancing and only managed to stop him rambling on when Gary Lineker appeared to present Match of the Day.
  3. Playing devil's advocate for no reason. One example was claiming that Martin Taylor's horror tackle which literally broke Eduardo's foot off shouldn't have resulted in a red card because Eduardo was simply 'a victim of his own pace and skill.' This, despite replays from multiple angles confirming that the injury was indeed caused by an act that would land most people in prison rather than any fault of Eduardo's. Crook's was similarly sympathetic when Adebayor attempted to boot Dutch sex-pest Robin Van Persie in the face.

Despite having a name like a Charles Dickens villain and looking like a man who's been in more than a few fights, Crooks is usually very calm and eloquent in his speech. Occasionally however, he will become furiously agitated over a point of perceived injustice. This can be over as little as a throw-in being awarded the wrong way.

In 1999 Garth Crooks 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. This fact alone should provide sufficient evidence for the disbanding of the Monarchy.

Team of the Week[]

Each week Crook's selects a squad of 33 Premier League players and then a first XI from these to form his team of the week. His selections provide endless infuriation for anyone who's not a fan of the Big Four, but since the BBC assumes this is only around 12 people, it is largely overlooked.

The following are always in the team of the week

  • Any keeper who saves a penalty or who keeps a clean sheet against one of the Big Four.
  • Any striker who scores 2 goals.
  • Any defender or midfielder who scores 1 goal.

If any players are left over after this, the team is usually padded out with Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool players. Garth will also innevitably select the following, even if they didn't actually play that week:

  • Frank Lampard
  • Steven Gerard
  • Ryan Giggs
  • Wayne Rooney
  • John Terry
  • Fernando Torres