Former stars out in force

by Kate Smith

Black Cats honour Craddock at testimonial.

Sunderland fans travelled back in time on Monday afternoon as the Black Cats had their very own big reunion.

Former stars were out in force as part of Jody Craddock’s highly-anticipated testimonial game at Molineux.

A Sunderland XI, which saw legendary strike force Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn rekindle their partnership, faced Wolverhampton Wanderers in a special game dedicated to the former defender, who spent six years on Wearside before moving to the Midlands club were he remained for over a decade. 

Other familiar faces who pulled on the red and white stripes once again for the occasion included Michael Gray, Julio Arca, Thomas Sorensen, Thomas Myhre, Kevin Kilbane, Martin Smith, Gavin McCann, Darren Williams, Darren Holloway and Marcus Stewart.

Ex Sunderland and Wolves boss Mick McCarthy took charge of the home team, which also included a host of Craddock’s former team mates, while Peter Reid’s former right-hand man Bobby Saxton was in the Sunderland dug out.

Almost 10,000 fans enjoyed the trip down memory lane and the bumper red and white contingent weren’t disappointed, as Sunderland took the lead in the first half through a trademark Quinn header at the back-post!

Wolves pulled level with 20 minutes to go and then it was Craddock, with a wry smile, who conceded a penalty for Sunderland to gift the home side a lifeline.

In keeping with the occasion, Wolves brought on all three of Craddock’s children - Toby, Luke and Joseph - for the penalty, and each beat stopper Myhre from the spot to make it 4-1 much to the delight of the crowd and a very proud father!.

All proceeds from the game are going to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where Craddock’s four-year-old son Toby is receiving treatment for leukaemia.

Watch highlights from the game on SAFSee now!