Jody Craddock is to kick off planning his testimonial year after Wolves’ request to mark the defender’s decade of Molineux service was granted by the Football League.
The popular defender has confirmed his retirement from playing after ten years’ service at Molineux, before which he also represented Cambridge and Sunderland with great distinction.
Now 37, Craddock is concentrating his career focus on his well-documented artistic prowess, having made 581 senior appearances in a football career spanning almost 20 years in total, chipping in with 24 goals along the way.
And, like Matt Murray in his testimonial year before him, Craddock is planning to donate a proportion of the proceeds to charity.
“As I have already said, I am really pleased the Club have requested a testimonial for me and delighted it has now been granted,” says Craddock.
“I always loved playing for Wolves, and gave it my all, and am looking forward to sharing this year with the club’s supporters.
“I have also chosen two charities to benefit from the testimonial year – Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Balls to Cancer.
“As a lot of people know, our youngest son Toby has been under the care of Birmingham Children’s Hospital for the last year having been diagnosed with leukaemia.
“He is currently doing really well, and the care and support both he and our whole family have received from the hospital has been second to none.
“The Hospital is always in need of extra funding to help their facilities for both patients and their families, and at the moment are involved in a big appeal for a new Children’s Cancer Centre.
“Toby is progressing really well, but is still undergoing regular treatment, and it will be great if we can help out the Hospital with their appeal.
“Balls to Cancer is a charity which was set up by a Wolves fan called Mark Bates, whose father died of cancer.
“The charity is aiming to improve awareness of male cancers and help with education and research, and has already raised so much money via so many different events.
“It is a real privilege for me to be a patron of the charity and to see at first hand the energy and enthusiasm of Mark and everyone involved, and hopefully we will be able to help them further by donating some of the proceeds from the testimonial.”
Craddock has now set up a committee to organise a series of events, including a match at Molineux, and is keen to provide something for all supporters to enjoy.
“I am grateful to all the people who have agreed to help out on the committee, and hopefully we will be able to put on some different events – including a match at Molineux – which supporters will find enjoyable,” he added.
“It is very early days but it would be great to get the 2008/09 promotion team at Wolves involved during the year in some capacity, as well as perhaps some of my former team-mates from Sunderland where I also spent six happy years.
“We will have to see what we can come up with, but I am looking forward to getting started and hopefully meeting as many fans as possible during the year.”