That Peter Crouch Podcast: Theo Walcott on Harry Potter, Arsene Wenger and more

Crouch and Walcott were both in the England squad for the 2006 World Cup

Like Daniel Radcliffe, Bart Simpson and Baby Spice, Theo Walcott will always be young to us.

He just lives his life outside of time. That’s how it seems, anyway.

The truth is the Everton forward is actually the other side of 30. We know that because his birthday last year brought with it the long-awaited punchline of a joke made years ago on Peep Show.

But – as he tells Peter Crouch, Tom Fordyce and Chris Stark on this week’s That Peter Crouch Podcast – he’s “been around forever”.

So what else did they talk about?

Whether being hyped so young helped or hindered him

Walcott, then a raw 17-year-old, was named in England’s 2006 World Cup squad by Sven-Goran Eriksson.

“I had to grow up pretty fast in a man’s game,” says Walcott, whose most recent club appearances had been for Southampton in the Championship.

Speaking about his World Cup experience he says he was constantly thinking, ‘what am I doing here?’

Walcott took a camcorder with him to Germany and says he was “a bit like a tourist” as he filmed “any old rubbish”.

How his village rallied round to keep the paparazzi away

Walcott is still with his childhood sweetheart Melanie.

He remembers the pressure on her after he was called up for that first international tournament, and how his neighbours protected their privacy.

“The whole village of Compton surrounded this paparazzi car because me and Mel wanted to go out and have a meal together,” he says.

How his dad upset Sven

Walcott did not feature at Germany 2006, but remembers the team having a barbecue together at the end of the tournament.

“My old man put his foot in it,” he says. “He starting saying to someone, ‘I can’t believe Sven didn’t bring Theo on’ – not realising he was talking to Sven’s son.”

That isn’t the only time Walcott Sr is mentioned during the podcast, as Theo reveals how he celebrated his World Cup call-up in the first place.

“I think I ended up playing Monopoly with my old man,” he says.


How Arsene Wenger looked uncomfortable at home

Walcott moved from Southampton to Arsenal in 2006, joining a squad that included the likes of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Ashley Cole, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie.

It also gave him the chance to work for Arsene Wenger. But what was it like to meet him for the first time?

Walcott was invited to Wenger’s house, along with his parents. His first impression was his new manager was too tall for his own sofa.

“He looked so uncomfortable in his own house,” he says.

Why he wore a ‘horrendous’ shirt when signing for Arsenal

A big shirt to fill

Walcott says he got a lot of stick for the shirt he wore when he signed from Arsenal.

He says he travelled from Southampton without enough smart clothes.

“I had to go across to a retail park to buy that horrendous shirt, which was too baggy,” he says.

How he regrets not appearing in Harry Potter

Two child starlets

It’s well known that Walcott could have been in one of the Harry Potter films. His uncle, David Yates, directed four of the series.

“I got asked to be an extra or even play a game of Quidditch,” Walcott says.

But while his mum, dad, wife and brother all got roles, he missed out.

“I was gutted, football got in the way,” he says.

There’s loads more in the podcast – including Walcott talking about what a “top man” Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti is – and how he reminds him of Wenger. Give it a listen!