JODY CRADDOCK admits he could not have asked for more from his former team-mates after seeing Sunderland and Wolves old boys gather for his testimonial.
More than 9,000 fans travelled to Molineux yesterday afternoon to see Craddock’s team-mates from his stints at Sunderland and Wolves collide.
The likes of Kevin Phillips, Niall Quinn, Michael Gray, Thomas Sorensen, Kevin Kilbane, Alex Rae, Gavin McCann, Kevin Kilbane and Darren Williams all ran out for the Sunderland XI, with Craddock representing both sides.
“It was really hard getting the teams together because some are still playing or in the media,” said Craddock.
“It’s been a lot of hard work in the last few weeks to get people to agree. But what more can I say, without those players coming, there was no game.
“They all had a go and ran around for me and played as much as they possibly could.
“I even let Quinny score at the back stick!”
The crowd fulfilled Craddock’s hopes of matching the 8,000 who attended the testimonial for his former Wolves team-mate Matt Murray, three years ago.
And the 38-year-old was particularly grateful for the hundreds who travelled down from Wearside for the event.
“It was a fantastic turn-out,” he said.
“Matt Murray had a testimonial a few years ago and he had 8,000. So we were aiming to match that and we did that comfortably.
“It’s a long way down and back up for the Sunderland fans, so I really appreciate them coming down.”
Sunderland had led through Quinn’s first half goal before Wolves midfielder David Edwards equalised for the hosts after the break.
Wolves then sealed victory in the final 10 minutes when Craddock purposely clipped Hollyoaks actor Ayden Callaghan inside the penalty area.
Craddock’s three sons - Joseph, Luke and Toby - all converted after each getting a go from the penalty spot.
It was particularly poignant for Toby, who has been receiving treatment for leukaemia at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where the proceeds from the event will go.
Craddock added: “It (the penalty) could have been engineered!
“We’d planned it and it fell really nicely because I don’t think Wolves had got in the box!
“It was good to get Toby on the pitch so everyone could see how well he’s doing.”