South Tyneside couple star in upcoming film described as 'a love letter to Newcastle United and to fandom across the world'
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Hebburn resident David Craig and his wife, Sara, are two of 11 Magpie fans whose shared ups and downs are chronicled in the soon-to-be-released ‘We Are the Geordies’.
The feature-length production takes a cue from the wildly popular Netflix documentary series, ‘Sunderland ‘Til I Die’, which charts the fortunes of its main derby rival.
Looking at the experiences of die-hard Toon Army supporters during the 2016-17 season – during which the club battled to secure promotion back to the Premier League – the film tries to get to the heart of what the club represents for residents on both sides of the River Tyne.
Scenes featuring Mr and Mrs Craig are used at a number of points in the film’s trailer, including a memorable line on the club’s promotion success that year.
Mr Craig told The Gazette he was invited to take part in the project after the filmmakers read an account he had written of his earliest memories at St James’ Park.
“I didn’t really know what it was going to lead on to first,” he said.
"But a friend of mine passed on my details to the directors of the film...[as part of] a kind of survey they were doing with fans.
"I sent in something that I’d written and that had been on a few different fanzines, which was about my memories of my first ever game. I’d just turned six, it was 1975 and it was the last game of the season against Birmingham City.
"I remember walking up to the ground past the brewery and taking in the smell of the brewery. I’d never been that side of Newcastle and I’d never been among a crowd of that size before. It’s a memory that’s always stuck with me.”
The four-years-in-the-making film features interviews with Les Ferdinand, Malcolm Macdonald, Alan Shearer and then-manager Rafael Benitez among other NUFC legends.
Aside from the club’s fortunes on the pitch, the independent film – which Mr Craig describes as a kind of ‘labour of love’ – considers some of the ramifications of Newcastle United’s executive management under the controversial billionaire and Sports Direct owner, Mike Ashley.
Commenting on his partner’s contribution to and role in the film, Mr Craig also said: “You’ve got people in the film who've been Newcastle fans all their lives.
"With Sara, it’s different – she kind of comes to Newcastle United through her relationship with me. She became one of the film’s ‘first 11’ – the ones they follow throughout the season. So she’s a fan for life as well now.
"The film isn’t really about the football in one sense – it’s about everything that comes with it. Sara described it perfectly as a ‘love letter to Newcastle United’.
“I’d probably go one step further. On the surface, it’s a snapshot of that season when Newcastle United were in the Championship. But it’s also a love letter to fandom across all sports across the world.”
‘We Are the Geordies’ is due to be released on Friday, December 11.