A FORMER Black Cat has drawn upon one of the club’s greatest triumphs to create an eye-catching artwork.
Jody Craddock spent six years playing for SAFC, from 1997 - 2003, a time he remembers fondly.
Today he juggles football with art, so when he was asked to create a painting to mark the 40th anniversary of Sunderland’s FA Cup win against Leeds he jumped at the chance.
The result will feature at a 40th Anniversary Gala Dinner, which is being presented by the FA Cup winning team of 1973 at the Stadium of Light on May 5.
Defender Jody, who now plays for Wolverhampton Wanderers, said: “I still have many close friends from the area and my time on Wearside holds great personal memories for me and my family.
“So, to be able to combine my love of painting and celebrate the club’s historic FA Cup win, is a special thing and I am proud to be associated with the 40th anniversary gala dinner.
“I hope the fans like my painting.”
Jody has always drawn and liked to paint. It has been a form of escapism which helped him to cope with the loss of his first son Jake to sudden infant death syndrome, a tragedy which happened during his time at Sunderland.
Over the years, his talents as a self-taught oil painter have garnered a fan base, with his original commissions selling for about £3,000 to £5,000.
Jody was asked to create the 40th anniversary painting which features the cup-winning team with the trophy and manager Bob Stokoe, by Seventy3 magazine – which is an associate sponsor of the gala event.
Mark Harrison, one of the magazine’s owners, said: “Because of the our connection to the date, we really wanted to be involved in the anniversary and are bringing out a special edition magazine to commemorate the event. We wanted to come up with something physical to mark the date and enable fans to have something to remember it by. Jody had done a painting of my daughter four years ago and did a fantastic job.
“He agreed to do an original painting for us which is inspired by various photos of the cup win.”
Though the original piece, which took four months to create, is available to buy, a more affordable canvas print will be auctioned at the gala dinner which will also be signed by 1973 players in attendance.
Limited edition prints, signed by all the players, will also be sold for £173 with limited edition prints signed by Jody sold for £73.
l To learn more about Jody’s artwork visit www.art-affect.com.