Jody Craddock

Player of the Day: Jody Craddock

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Former defender in the spotlight.

Defender Jody Craddock spent six years on Wearside between 1997 and 2003 in which time he made 168 appearances.

After beginning his league career with Cambridge United, Craddock signed for the Black Cats for £300,000 in August 1997.

Jody moved to the Stadium of Light with a wealth of lower division appearances to his name; Craddock’s time with the U’s returned 145 league appearances.

He made his debut for the Black Cats in a League Cup win over Bury in September 1997 but he didn’t make his league bow for a further month.

Craddock added 40 appearances over the course of his debut campaign – featuring in all three play-off fixtures as Sunderland lost out on penalties to Charlton Athletic in the final.

Paul Butler’s arrival limited Jody to just 11 appearances over the course of the 1998-99 campaign, though he did feature for Sheffield United on loan.

Craddock become a more ever-present part of Reid’s side by the 1999-00 season notching 20 appearances – 15 of which were consecutive at the end of the campaign.

The 2000-01 season brought more success for both Craddock and Sunderland as the Black Cats recorded back-to-back seventh placed finishes with the former Cambridge man adding a further 35 appearances to his tally.

Jody’s first goal in a Sunderland shirt came in September 2001 in a 2-0 win over Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium.

Reid’s side just avoided relegation in 2001-02 with Craddock making another 31 appearances alongside multiple partners including Darren Williams, Emerson Thome and Joachim Bjorklund.

Craddock made 30 appearances in his final season with the club as Mick McCarthy’s side were relegated from the top flight after a four-year stay.

Jody joined Wolves and went on to play 237 games for the Molineux outfit in a ten-year stay.

Since his retirement from the game last season, Craddock has continued his passion for painting and showcases his work, including a portrait of Sunderland’s 1973 FA Cup-winning squad, on his website at www.art-affect.com.