Peter Crouch turned 37 in January but the veteran striker proved on Monday night that he remains capable of making an impact at the highest level of English football.
With the score between West Ham and Stoke City locked at 0-0, Potters’ boss Paul Lambert sent on Crouch in place of Moritz Bauer with 20 minutes left to play.
Crouch responded by breaking the deadlock nine minutes after entering the fray, capitalising on a Joe Hart error to put his team 1-0 up at the London Stadium.
This was the one-time England international’s fourth Premier League goal of the season and while it didn’t prove to be the winner - Andy Carroll popped up with a 90th-minute equaliser for the hosts - it still guaranteed Stoke a share of the spoils.
The Potters are still expected to be relegated to the Championship over the coming weeks but a great escape isn’t beyond the realms of possibility.
Stoke now sit five points from safety following their draw against the Hammers, on 28 points, although the likes of Swansea City and Southampton above them now have a precious game in hand.
Everyone was delighted to see Crouch, who is one of the most universally-liked footballers in the Premier League thanks largely to his self-deprecating sense of humour, get himself on the scoresheet.
Gary Lineker's funny tweet about Crouch
But amid all of the reaction on social media, it was Match of the Day host Gary Lineker who provided the best tweet about Crouchy.
“Peter Crouch’s goal could be a crucial one. It’s his first of 2018,” Lineker tweeted. “That means he’s scored a goal in every year since 1952.”
Brilliant. It certainly feels like it, Gary!
Crouch has been on the scene for so long now that it’s hard to remember what football was like without him.
Could he make England's World Cup squad?
The 6ft 7in centre-forward has enjoyed a fine career, playing for the likes of Portsmouth, Liverpool and Tottenham.
He also scored an excellent 22 goals in 42 matches for England and following his latest goal against West Ham, there are some fans who believe Gareth Southgate should consider him for England’s World Cup squad this summer.
The odds on Crouch making the Three Lions’ World Cup squad? 100/1.
Stranger decisions have also been made by England managers over the years.
Should Gareth Southgate consider taking Peter Crouch to the World Cup? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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