Former Wolves star Jody Craddock aims for art world's Premier League
As skipper of Wolves' Premiership side, he always had the backing of the gold and black faithful.
Now Jody Craddock is asking fans for their backing in his post-football career as a professional artist.
The Wolves favourite has taken to social media for help in getting his work exhibited at an exclusive arts fair.
Now 42, he took up painting whilst still a key figure in Wolves' back four, surprising people with his talent with a paintbrush as well as a football.
Since retiring from the game in 2013, he has kept busy with commissions, mainly portrait work, although he has ably demonstrated his skills in other genres of art.
Recently he has designed 24 Wolves match-day programme covers for the 2017/18 season.
Now he is keen to get his work seen by a wider audience - with an exhibition in London seen as the artistic equivalent of Premiership promotion.
He has entered three of his paintings for the People's Choice Award in the Artrooms 2018 art fair which gives lesser known artists a chance to display their work at a prestigious London sales room.
People can vote online for their favourite artist's work from a list of selected contenders. At the start of this week Jody was in fourth position but yesterday had moved into second place in the voting.
The Wolves veteran has posted a series of requests asking people, if they like his work, to help him by pressing the 'voting for artist' option beside his work on the Artrooms website. He tweeted: "I'm hot on the heels of numero uno... please keep up the great support."
Artists are selected to exhibit by a committee, with the exception of the People's Choice category.
He told the Express & Star: "If I get it - great. If I don't, that's fine too. I'm on Twitter and Facebook, and I just want to see if I can do it. I've got 60,000 followers on Twitter, and if 5,000 of those vote for me, it could make all the difference. It's worth a try."
The father of four paints in the studio of his Kidderminster home and has experimented with different art styles since hanging up his boots.
The paintings he has entered for the Artrooms exhibition are a mixture of classical portraiture and graffiti in a deliberate move to create a signature style for himself.
The works show figures from Greek mythology. 'Honour' is a painting of Menelaus, a Spartan king and husband of Helen of Troy, while 'Nearly Immortal' depicts the great warrior Achilles, both heroes of the Trojan War.
'The Gift' shows Perseus holding up the head of Medusa, one of three female Gorgons, with hair said to be made of poisonous snakes, whom he slayed.
Jody says: "I've always been in awe of these statues of great figures from Greek and Roman times. I've always done portraiture and I've been experimenting with graffiti, and combining the two seemed to work.
"I wanted to find an identity as an artist, something that marked my work out as original, so people would say 'There's a Craddock'.
"I love painting and my goal is to be as successful in my art as I was in my football. It's a big ask. I've got to work hard. Painting is the easy bit, it's the selling that is hard, and I'm quite young as far as that goes.
"Being able to display my work at Artrooms would be a great platform for me.
"To exhibit in London, where the big galleries are, would be like getting promotion, it's the ambition of most artists."
The link to vote for Jody is art-rooms.org/application/craddock
Voting closes on September 7.