Former Premier League star is now a professional artist producing stunning paintings | Football | Sport

Jody Craddock might’ve played professional football for 20 years, but the former Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sunderland man has taken an unusual route after hanging up his boots. Instead of venturing into coaching or punditry like other ex-pros do, Craddock has turned his hand to painting and is now a professional artist.

Making his senior debut with non-League side Christchurch back in 1992, Craddock would embark on a storied two-decade-long career, which saw him amass over 500 appearances. Clocking up eight seasons in the Premier League altogether, it was his time at Wolves where Craddock is best remembered, having spent 10 years with the West Midlands-based outfit.

Alongside spells at Wolves and Sunderland, the centre-back also played for the likes of Sheffield United, Cambridge United and Stoke City, but it’s in the world of art where he’s since made a name for himself. That’s because since retiring Craddock has established himself as a respectable name in the painting scene, having developed the skill while he was still a footballer.

Speaking to the BBC back in 2015, the Worcestershire-born ace claimed playing football and painting was all he’d ever known: “I could play football and I could paint, it’s all I could do,” Craddock joked. “That’s what I naturally went into when I retired from football. But I’ve been working on a new identity, which I’ve kept under wraps for the last year.

“I’d done portraiture for years. When I retired I then experimented with graffiti and photorealism. But I needed something that can be taken seriously, that looks good and that people will look at and recognise. There’s not a lot out there that has not already been done, so to think of something original and different was hard.”

Since then, Craddock has produced hundreds of pieces, some of which are available to purchase on his website. They include regular oil paintings, alongside heart-shaped acrylic artworks and the former player also put on an exhibition showcasing his best work in 2015. Named ‘Le Bellezza Della Fusione’, the event was held at the Antidote Art Gallery in Leicestershire and displayed paintings of defaced Renaissance statues produced by Craddock.

But Craddock has still kept in touch with his former career as a footballer, with plenty of Wolves-related pieces available to buy on his website as well. His collection had previously included portraits of ex-Wanderers stars Joao Moutinho and Raul Jimenez – both of which sold for over £100.

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