Wolves Who are You?: ‘fond of Sunderland but you’ll suffer a mauling’

Not a photo of Andy, but his sentiments

Andy Nicholls* , moderator at the Wolves fan site Molineux Mix, is another old friend to this site. Seven years ago, he appeared here for a joint interview with a Sunderland-mad Silksworth lass, then his partner. They are no longer together but still speak.

Andy is naturally as thrilled by the football he is currently seeing as we are dejected by what has befallen SAFC. He lived on Wearside for a time and retains happy memories, which are described below, leaving a mark strong enough to make him look for our score once he knows what has happened to his own team, though he feels we’re in for a pasting on Saturday (as Wolves bounce back from winning only 1-0 away in midweek!)

PS Jody Craddock is aware of – and appreciates – Andy’s kind words

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There’s only one Jody Craddock: Sunderland, Wolves and art

Visit art-affect.com to see more of Jody's work*
This is one of Jody’s. Visit Jody’s site to see more of his work*

Jody Craddock was a terrific servant to Sunderland AFC. He went on to play as wholeheartedly for Wolves, so much so that the initially unimpressed Molineux faithful sang one of those ‘used to be s****, now he’s all right’ songs in his honour. Salut! Sunderland is delighted his testimonial match – Wolves XI 4-1 SAFC XI, Niall and SuperKev included – drew a 9,000+ crowd. Read about it at the Sunderland Echohttp://www.sunderlandecho.com/sport/sunderland-afc/wolves-beat-sunderland-in-jody-craddock-testimonial-1-6598428 – but let us recall the Who are You? he kindly did with us before the last game of the 2009-2010 season …

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Sixer’s Travels: Southampton, heartening news of Jody Craddock and back in time for Blackburn

Sixer photographed by M Salut, framed by Jake
Sixer photographed by M Salut, framed by Jake

Pete Sixsmith‘s Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset odyssey took in Sunderland at St Mary’s, of course, but also a visit to Salisbury and a reminder of the sort of person Jody Craddock is. Our former centre back is now living in Christchurch where he donated one of his paintings to a relief fund in honour of a local footballer killed in a road accident. Pete – and all at Salut! Sunderland wish Jody and his family well and are relieved to hear his young son, Toby, stricken with lymphoblastic leukaemia last year, continues to make good progress …

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Jody Craddock: is Wolves, was Sunderland, gets all our support

An example of Jody's art

How much can a parent take? You’d think Jody Craddock and his wife Shelley had taken enough when their baby son died while Jody was a Sunderland player. Now another of their children, Toby, just two-and-a-half years old, has been diagnosed as suffering from lymphoblastic leukaemia.

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Jody Craddock on caps, cheats and Wolves chants


Try even harder to forget politics, delve deeper into Jody Craddock’s world of painting and you meet some interesting people (Ricky Hatton, the boxer, is shown here with Jody’s portrait of him). Take a look at his gallery*. In the first part of the last – and rather special – Who Are You? of the season, we heard about Jody’s time at Sunderland. Click here if you missed it. Now let’s see what he thinks about diving, his own preferences in art and the likely outcome of Sunday’s game. And what about the World Cup and the absence of England caps in Jody’s cv? …

Salut! Sunderland: Do you look out for our results?

I look out for everyone’s results, even more so those that have a direct effect on Wolves also.

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Who are you? We’re Wolves – Jody Craddock speaks (1)


Colin Randall writes: election day and we probably all deserve a break. Let us turn away from Brown, Cameron and Clegg, think about Sunday’s last game of the Premier League season …. and welcome Jody Craddock*.
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Jody served Sunderland well, earning the lasting affection of our supporters before moving on. At Wolverhampton Wanderers he has been a pivotal figure in getting the club up and keeping them up and won effusive praise recently for a man-of-the-match display against Stoke. He has also continued to develop his gift for painting. Salut! Sunderland was honoured that he was willing to answer questions – set by Pete Sixsmith, me and subscribers to the Blackcats e-mail list – ahead of that final game: Wolves v SAFC. Here’s part one …


Salut! Sunderland: What is your view of the reasons for things going wrong after Sunderland’s two seventh place finishes under Peter Reid?

When safc finished 7th twice I feel it was all about balance with the majority of the team being British and a scattering of quality foreign players. The following seasons before we got relegated I feel the balance wasn’t quite right. Vague I know, but we were all to blame as we didn’t play well enough.

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Melanie Hill: flirting on the Fulwell


When I thank you for the stream of visits to Salut! Sunderland that has sent us rocketing up the Soccerlinks hit parade to the dizzy heights of the mid-40s, “you” includes the away fans attracted by the Who Are You? feature and such controversies as the Ilunga/Jones affair. While I stand by for an invasion by Spurs fans later in the week, ahead of Saturday’s game at White Hart Lane, I will give another airing to an interview from the Celebrity Supporters series that began with 5573 (later renamed Wear Down South), the magazine of the Sunderland supporters’ association London branch, and continued at the old site.

Melanie Hill, whom I described as a “smashing actress known from Bread, Brassed Off and much more” was easily one of the nicest interviewees in the series. She agreed to an interview two days before the fateful Arsenal match in Oct 2002, Peter Reid’s last in charge, and rang again just before kick-off to fix a time. The interview took place the day after Reid’s sacking. As I said at the time, it felt like a whirlwind telephone romance.

Here, for those who missed the interview when it first appeared (and apologies to those for whom it is just a repeat), is one of the stars of our wider support base …

This starts as a tale of two celebrities with strong Sunderland links, of one door opening while the echo of another slamming shut is ringing in the ears.

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Who are you? We’re Wolves (1)


If no one minds, this week’s Who are you? feature, ahead of SAFC v Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday, is an in memoriam edition. It honours David Graves, a Wolves-supporting colleague and great friend who died in a diving accident seven years ago, and Jake, the baby taken by cot death syndrome a year later from Jody Craddock, a centre back who has been a model of commitment and professionalism at both Sunderland and Wolves. Fittingly, the game is previewed – in the first of two Black Country contributions – by Andy Nicholls*, another Wolves man with a Mackem connection

Briefly, David was a reporter I had known since our days together at the Press Association. He was extremely good at his job but also a committed family man. He, his wife Diana and their two boys deserved better than that he should die while diving in the Bahamas. He would have been my first choice to answer questions prior to a Wolves v Sunderland encounter.

Equally briefly, Jody – coincidentally a big fan of Bahamas holidays – was still a mainstay of our defence when he and his wife Shelley, lost Jake at just five months. Jody, a gifted art student when at school, returned to canvas to work through his grief. His work – which can be seen and bought at his own site – illustrates (with Jody’s consent) this series of excellent responses from Andy Nicholls, from the top Wolves fan site Molineux Mix. Our thoughts are with both families.

And here are the questions …

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