Footballers from Redditch - The Redditch Standard

Footballers from Redditch

Redditch Editorial 9th Feb, 2024   0

A lot of football players born in Redditch have turned out for the Blues at some point

Redditch is well-placed for football fans. There’s Redditch United, of course, alongside a number of other local teams that all do the town proud. But this is also a place that produces more than its fair share of top footballers. Maybe there is something in the Worcestershire water?

We thought it was high time that we celebrated those professional footballers who hail from Redditch. Not all of the players we are about to profile will be mentioned in the English Premier League 2024 betting markets – or are even still lacing up their boots to play. But they all excelled at their chosen profession and represented Redditch well.

With such a wide range of youth clubs operating in the town – with girls and boys teams – there are sure to be plenty more stars of the future able to claim Redditch as their hometown. But, for now, here are some of the best to do it so far.

Joey Craddock

A Wolves and Sunderland legend, Joey Craddock may have been born in Redditch but he was forced to move all the way down to the south coast to begin his football career. A short stint with non-league Christchurch United earned him a move to Cambridge United in 1993 and he was playing in the Premier League with Sunderland within five years.

The Black Cats were relegated in 2003, but Craddock remained in the league after signing for Wolves. It was there that he would go on to make over 200 appearances, establishing himself as a tough-tackling center back. He stayed at Molineux until his retirement in 2013, enjoying a testimonial from the club for ten years of service.

Missy Goodwin

Missy Goodwin had only just been born when Joey Craddock signed for Wolves but she has also forged a career at the top of the game after growing up in Redditch. She was talent spotted by Birmingham City when she was just a small child and came through the youth sections before joining the Aston Villa U-21 academy.

She made her debut in 2021 and her performances there did not go unnoticed as she was selected for the England U-17 team. Goodwin signed for Leicester City in 2021 and is now a regular in the Foxes’ Women’s Super League team as she continues to play at the highest level.

George Hall

An attacking midfielder who has represented his country at U-18 and U-19 level, Hall is a Redditch-born lad who has played at Birmingham City throughout his youth and now into his senior career. Hall’s talent showed early on as he was part of the St Bede’s side that won the English Schools FA Cup in 2017.

His performances for the Blues’ youth teams attracted a lot of attention from Premier League teams but he signed a professional contract with the club in 2021 and has now become an important part of the team. He recently signed an extension on his deal and was named the Birmingham City Young Player of the Season in 2022-23.

Chloe Peplow

Now playing at Southampton in the Women’s Championship, Chloe Peplow has already starred for two clubs in the top tier of the game and could well make a return in the years to come. Born in Redditch in 1998, she initially signed for Birmingham City as a teenager and even played in the 2017 FA Cup final.

After leaving Birmingham for Doncaster and then moving on to Brighton, Peplow signed for Spurs and played for the North London club for two years. A move to WSL side Reading came next, where she was loaned out, before making the move to Southampton last year. She has also represented England at U-17, U-19, and U-20 level.

Matthew Smith

Although Matthew Smith was born in Redditch in 1999, he is currently a Wales international, thanks to a grandfather who was born in Gwent. As a youngster, Smith initially played for West Bromwich Albion but was taken by Manchester City where he continued his ascent through the age levels.

Opportunities were slim at the Etihad, however, and Smith played out on loan at Twente in the Netherlands, as well as for QPR, Doncaster, Charlton, and Hull. He then signed a permanent contract with MK Dons before joining St Johnstone last summer. He was named in the Wales squad for Euro 2020 and World Cup 2022.

Stacy Coldicott

Retiring in 2008 to become a firefighter, Stacy Coldicott is now a financial advisor but spent a long time as a successful footballer playing at a number of different levels in the English pyramid. He came through the ranks at West Brom and went on to make over 100 appearances for the club before signing for Grimsby Town in 1998.

Coldicott then played over 250 times for the Mariners, in three different tiers, before moving between some non-league sides – including a stint at Feckenham. Although he never played at the highest level, Coldicott enjoyed an impressive footballing career and was known as a loyal and dependable midfielder.

Joe Lolley has come a long way since he was playing for Littleton

Joe Lolley

Lolley is now playing on the other side of the world with LA-Leagues club Sydney FC. But he began his career in the Birmingham City academy before moving to Bromsgrove Rovers and making a name for himself at Littleton of the Midland Combination. His performances there saw him sign for Kidderminster before Huddersfield Town came calling.

He won promotion to the Premier League with the Terriers before he moved once again, this time to Nottingham Forest – then of the Championship. He became an integral part of the team but had fallen out with the manager before finally leaving for Sydney in 2022. Lolley holds the distinction of representing the UK at university level as well as playing for England C.

This is a submitted article


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