s_gardener SOCCER : Barclays Premier League - West Bromwich Albion v Burnley

“Saving Lives began life in the same city I did: Birmingham. But the the pressures young people are under today are the same everywhere, back in Birmingham or here in Sunderland – and are even greater than they were then. I’m supporting this campaign because I believe that education and raising awareness are the best ways of helping young people – and reducing HIV.”

Born and raised in Birmingham, Craig began his footballing career at Aston Villa, making his professional debut for the club on Boxing Day in 2005. He impressed his manager, fellow players, and the crowd alike with versatile performances – often playing at rightback rather than his preferred central midfield position – and made 80 appearances for Villa before moving to the Second City’s other Premiership side, Birmingham City, in the first month of 2010. It was his goal against West Ham which sent the Blues into that season’s Football League Cup Final.

“I’ve joined Saving Lives as an advocate because as the doctors behind the campaign talked to me about HIV I began to see what a problem it is,” Craig says. “But the solution is simple: people just need to get tested if they’ve been at risk. But for so many reasons, people don’t – Saving Lives is about educating people so that they do. Fair play in my book.”

Despite his time at Villa, Craig is a lifelong Blues supporter. In the 2010-11 season, he made twenty-nine league appearances for the club and scored eight goals. His tally is as prolific in the League Cup, with two goals in six games. After a period playing for Sunderland FC, Craig is now back in the Midlands at West Bromwich Albion. We’re proud that one of his destinations is Saving Lives.