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March 2004
Jody Craddock - the artist
Jody Craddock
He's best known as the tough-tackling centre-half at the heart of Wolves defence, but did you know that Jody Craddock's artistry extends beyond the pitch, and onto the canvas?
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Jody Craddock - self portrait
Self portrait by Jody

Signed for £1.7million from Sunderland in August 2003, Craddock's become a firm favourite at Molineux and he's the only player to have played in every one of the club's games this season.

But there is more to the Bromsgrove-born defender than meets the eye. He's a talented artist and over the last few years he's sold paintings at art shows across the country and has shown his work in several galleries in the Midlands and the North East.

His contempary portraits and landscapes sell for £500 upwards and customers have included former Wolves Chairman Sir Jack Hayward, Sunderland manager Mick McCarthy and many Premier League players.

Jody began to draw and paint as a child and he has honed his skills over the years. Critical acclaim has followed and he is already planning for a career as a painter when his football career comes to an end. He plans to set up a gallery to market his own work and that of other painters.

He and his wife, Shelley, recently moved into their new home in Worcestershire and plans are in place for a studio in the converted farmhouse near Kidderminster.

Thierry Henri
Thierry Henri

As a young player, Jody was convinced that he would never make it in the big-time and made it his business to acquire skills and qualifications to safeguard his future.

He always painted, though, and now it seems that he could make his living in front of his easel. As an apprentice player he was unable to afford the materials to paint. Oils paints and canvasses are expensive and he simply couldn't afford them.

But, now his Premiership wages allow him to indulge himself and he tries to paint every day. His favourite subjects are the very players that he faces every week on the pitch.

Al PAcino
Al Pacino

In his studio there is currently a Premier League dream team. Ruud van Nistelroy, Thierry Henri and Frank Lampard are his latest subjects, but he jokes that he has painted a team that would cost £100 million to assemble in real-life.

Rock stars like Noel Gallagher, Paul McCartney and Jimi Hendrix are favourites immortalised in oils and portraits of film stars like Al Pacino grace the walls of his new home. Landscapes are his new passion, especially exotic sea-side locations.

Jody Craddock
Jody at work

Painting allows the defender to relax and chill-out at home. It provides him with a chance to leave the pressure of the Premier League behind. He says that he often sits down to paint and then realises that several hours have passed in the blink of an eye.

Jody admits to being slightly shy and while his team-mates are out on the town, he is more than likely in front of a canvass working on his latest creation. He's just gone on-line with his own website to showcase his art to potential customers and to those who are simply interested in his work. The site is at www.craddock-art.com.

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