England international Conor Coady became Everton’s fourth signing of the 2022 summer transfer window, joining from Wolves on a season-long loan deal.
The 29-year-old defender, who captained Wolves for the past four seasons, was a hugely influential figure at Molineux both on and off the pitch.
Born in Merseyside, Coady’s journey began at Liverpool’s academy as a 12-year-old and he went on to captain the club’s Under-21 side and make two senior appearances for the first team against Anzhi Makhachkala and Fulham.
Coady received his first taste of international football with England Under-16s and represented his nation up to Under-20 level, before earning his first senior call-up seven years later in 2020.
A season-long loan at Sheffield United in 2013/14 was Coady’s first taste of regular first-team action and he left Anfield on a permanent basis to join Huddersfield Town the following summer.
After an impressive 12 months in West Yorkshire, he moved to fellow Championship outfit Wolves in July 2015.
Following two years in Wolves’ midfield, in 2017/18, under new coach Nuno Espírito Santo, Coady transformed from a defensive-minded midfielder to a centre-back.
The move was an inspired one, with Coady wearing the captain’s armband on multiple occasions, helping Wolves keep 24 clean sheets on their way to the Championship title and return to the Premier League following a six-year absence.
Enjoying his first opportunity in the Premier League, Coady then led Wolves to a pair of seventh-placed finishes, an FA Cup semi-final and the Europa League quarter-final.
That success caught the eye of England manager Gareth Southgate and his maiden senior call-up came for Nations League matches against Iceland and Denmark in September 2020. His first appearance - against Denmark - saw him become the first Wolves player to represent the Three Lions since Steve Bull in 1990.
A month later, Coady netted his first international goal against Wales at Wembley.
In late November 2020, Coady missed Wolves’ game against Southampton after being in contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19, breaking an 84-game streak of playing every minute (7,560 in total) in the Premier League. It remains the third-best record for outfield players in the history of the Premier League.
Coady was part of the England squad that finished runners-up at Euro 2020 and while he made no appearances, assistant manager Steve Holland dubbed him as the nation’s “player of the tournament”, explaining his presence in the team’s camp was similar to that of John Terry’s influence at Chelsea.
A first Premier League goal against Manchester City was scored in March 2021 and the defender added four more goals to his collection in 2021/22, including a winner against the Blues at Goodison Park and an important late equaliser against Chelsea.
A force for good away from football, in November 2021, Coady was named Football Ally of the Year at the British LGBT Awards for his outspoken support for gay footballers, saying: “Equality is a massive word, and when it comes to LGBTQ stuff, I'm big on making people feel involved”.