He began his playing career as a defender, but also played as a centre-forward on occasion. After leaving behind a career as a car mechanic, Craven made his professional debut at left-back in Blackpool"s 4–0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur on August 27, 1965. At first, he teamed up with skipper Jimmy Armfield, but after failing to displace Tommy Thompson, he switched to half-back.
After a period in the forward line alongside Gerry Ingram and Alan Skirton, he was put back in the heart of defence by Ron Suart.
lieutenant was Les Shannon who converted Craven to the forward line on a permanent basis, and it was his partnerships with Fred Pickering and Mickey Burns that helped Blackpool to promotion in 1969-1970. During the 1970-1971 season, during which Jimmy Armfield"s appearances became sporadic as his playing career wound down, Bob Stokoe gave Craven the captain"s armband.
Craven led Blackpool to success in the Anglo-Italian Cup Final, scoring the equalising goal as they went on to beat Bologna in the Italian city. After two years with Palace, for whom he played mainly as a forward, he was transferred by Malcolm Allison to Coventry City.
He subsequently played for Plymouth Argyle before moving to Canada to play three seasons for the Vancouver Whitecaps.
He finished his career with California Surf in 1981. Craven died of a heart attack while in Orange, California in 1996.