One inspirational defender – two memorable championships – Jody Craddock’s former Wolves and Sunderland team-mates will lock horns for his testimonial match taking place at Molineux on Monday, May 5th (2pm).
Jody won two promotions to the Premier League during his career, with Wolves in the 2008/09 season and with Sunderland in 1998/99.
Many of those players involved in those title-winning campaigns, and more of his former team-mates and other special guests, are due at Molineux to pay tribute to the defender as part of his testimonial year, from which a proportion of the proceeds are going to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
And, with several among the current Wolves squad hoping to play a part in the game, and others expected to be present at Molineux, it promises to be the biggest gathering of past and present Wolves players seen at the stadium for many years.
Mick McCarthy and Terry Connor are set to manage the Wolves side with Bobby Saxton, number two to Peter Reid when Sunderland won the title, in charge of the visitors.
Former Wolves players who have already said they will appear if available and join Jody in the squad include Matt Murray, Wayne Hennessey, Chris Iwelumo, Neill Collins, Matt Hill, Christophe Berra, Karl Henry, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, David Jones, Michael Kightly, Rob Edwards and Seyi Olofinjana.
Several of the current squad – Carl Ikeme, Richard Stearman and George Elokobi – are also in line to be involved dependent on Wolves’ league status at the time, as well as Stephen Ward, who is currently on loan at Brighton.
Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips are set to reunite their legendary strike partnership for Sunderland, with the squad also including Thomas Sorenson, Thomas Myhre, Julio Arca, Gavin McCann and Kevin Kilbane.
There are also several players who could end up with a choice of teams given their affiliations with both clubs, such as Paul Butler, Gary Breen, Micky Gray, Alex Rae and Kevin Kyle.
All manager and players availability is dependent on their teams’ league and potential play-off status.
Due to the current demand for tickets for Wolves’ remaining fixtures – and expected interest in the testimonial - tickets for the game will go on sale tomorrow (FRIDAY) ONLINE ONLY at www.wolves.co.uk Prices are £10 for adults, £5 for concessions (u17 / over 65’s), or £20 for a family of two adults and two children.
Booking fees apply but a reminder that supporters can avoid these by printing their tickets at home.
The Billy Wright and Stan Cullis Stands will be open for the fixture. The Billy Wright Lower Tier will be available only to those buying family tickets or adults purchasing with concessions.
With only two stands open supporters are encouraged to purchase early to ensure the best possible seats.
“I am delighted we have now got a date fixed and can really start to look forward to the game,” said Jody.
“I would also like to thank everyone at the club for their help in getting things finalised and in particular Steve, Jez and the Board in granting the testimonial year.
“I have been speaking to my former managers and team-mates from both Wolves and Sunderland and am really pleased that pretty much all of them are planning to make the game as long as club commitments allow.
“Everyone knows how much I enjoyed my time at both Wolves and Sunderland, particularly those two promotions, and the admiration and respect I will always have for both sets of supporters.
“Hopefully this game will provide a great showpiece event to the testimonial and will prove both a fun and exciting afternoon for everyone who comes along.”
A proportion of the proceeds from the testimonial year are going to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where Jody’s young son four-year-old son Toby is continuing to be treated for leukaemia since being diagnosed two years ago.
Several events have already been held as part of the testimonial year, including a training day with Jody and Matt Murray, an art exhibition to showcase some of Jody’s works, a Fans’ Forum with Kenny Jackett and Samuel Ricketts and a 2008/09 promotion reunion dinner held in the Hayward Suite at Molineux.
There also promises to be plenty of other entertainment taking place on the day, including some junior football prior to the fixture and a special half time penalty competition.
One random ticket holder who purchases before the day will be invited to join in the half time penalty competition – keep an eye out for more details.
Both Wolves and Sunderland fans are urged to come along to Molineux on Bank Holiday Monday to pay tribute to a firm fans’ favourite and true professional.