Wolves defender Richard Stearman today declared Jody Craddock left a lasting legacy at Molineux for players like him to follow.
Stearman played many games alongside Craddock – including the 2008-09 Championship title success and in the Premier League – and he credits him with ‘moulding’ younger defenders such as himself and Danny Batth.
“Jody was a model professional both on and off the pitch; a complete gentleman and when he asked me to be involved in his testimonial I was delighted to do so,” said Stearman.
“He moulded a lot of us who were here when he was here – myself, and Danny Batth among others, he had a massive influence on not only the way we tried to play the game but as people as well.
“And that was on and off the pitch because the way he conducted himself showed an excellent example.
“To play as high as he did throughout his career into his mid-30s and in the Premier League was a great tribute to him, and the year he retired he could have played as well in my opinion.
“He was still that fit and what a great career he had and it’s great that we could celebrate it with him.”
Stearman ranks Craddock as among the best defenders he has played with and saluted his bravery.
“He’s certainly right up there with the best I’ve played with - not just for what he did on the pitch but off it as well,” he said.
“He was a pleasure to play with.
“He didn’t mind putting his head where it hurts and that typified his sort of game.
“He was never scared and he was a joy to play with him – he was a very good defender.
“Seeing all the fans and the turnout was a great testament to Jody and the legacy that he left on the team and the club.
“It’s incredible with the amount of people who were there for a Bank Holiday after the season’s finished.
“To experience what he’s been through, we were delighted to play a part in hopefully raising a lot of money for his charity.
“It’s a great cause and I was very proud to see as many people turn out as they did.”