Published on 17 December 2018
A University of Sunderland graduate is whipping up an online storm with his theme tune to Netflix's new Sunderland AFC documentary.
Some members of University staff are now backing the bid to get Shipyards - by singer songwriter and graduate Martin Longstaff, who performs as The Lake Poets - to Number One on the iTunes chart.
Documentary series Sunderland 'Til I Die follows the Black Cats over a season and the theme song is already now in the iTunes top 10.
The song, written by Martin, a primary school PGCE graduate, was written in tribute to his late grandfather and has proved massively popular since the release of the documentary.
Producers Fulwell 73 were granted full access behind the scenes at the Stadium of Light for last season's Championship campaign. It was an incredibly turbulent period, which saw the departure of manager Simon Grayson and arrival of Chris Coleman and ended in a second successive relegation before the sale of the club to a new management team headed by Stewart Donald.
Graduate Martin, who studied at the University in 2012, was asked if the production team could use his song as the show's theme and has been touched that it has struck a chord with so many viewers.
Naomi Austin, a Senior Lecturer in Fashion, Design and Promotion at the University, took to social media to talk about the documentary. She said: “The opening titles are just beautiful. Really stunning. I’m a tough Geordie lass but have a real affinity for the city now especially after writing my first book about shipbuilding there and the opening brought tears to my eyes. And of course I love Martin Longstaff.”
The song is dedicated to Martin's grandfather George, who was a shipyard worker: "He was a really, really, quiet man who worked hard all his life," said Martin. "He was born in Pallion and worked in Deptford. He was a rivet catcher from 14 and then a crane driver - that's what I remember him as.”
There have even been calls for Martin to perform the song on the pitch when Sunderland take on Bradford City at the Stadium of Light on Boxing Day.
On Sunday, Marty tweeted: "Easily one of the best days of my life. Huge thanks for all the love and lovely words about Shipyards. Chuffed you all love the Fulwell73 documentary. Sunderland AFC are by far the greatest team the world has ever seen and the people of the city are even better.”
Shipyards was originally released by The Lake Poets in 2015. You can download Shipyards from here.