V United (2009)

How do you turn poetry into a film?


That was the first question John asked me when I suggested we could make a film around his football poetry.

It was 2009, one of the worst seasons on record for Newcastle United, and we were filming a project called Magpie Memories. Whilst working with Martin Ashburn, NUFC Learning Centre Manager, he introduced me to John, with a view to filming an interview to hear some of his stories and poetry; John worked at the time as a Tour Guide for the club, so we knew he had plenty to talk about.

We started filming Verses United at the same time as we were shooting Magpie Memories and when completed, the club picked it up and added it to their official merchandise, We also did a deal with JG Windows and The Back Page to stock the DVD, and many were sent abroad to ex-pats in places like Canada, Australia and USA.



The DVD sold out quickly and the reviews in the press were great, but it was a limited run, and we decided the film would age better if there were only a relatively small number in circulation, so we held a little stock back for the future. I always thought the film's real value will be realised in 20 or 30 years time when the the City of Newcastle and the football club have really changed, but also that John's poetry and delivery in the film was second to none, and should also be enjoyed today.


Over 12 years later, having gone through a worldwide pandemic, the value of memories has become even more pronounced, the club has changed, the city has changed, and we are forever changed.

The idea of DVDs these days sound primitive, most of us have cleared out our DVDs and CDs in favour of digital downloads and streaming, but the value of their content is a different matter.

You can purchase the DVD below, and with your purchase you will also be invited to download the re-edited upscaled HD version when ready in late 2022 along with bonus features and out takes. We are currently in the process of identifying a suitable cause to support from the 2022/23 sales of V United, we are thinking along the lines of the cost of living crisis, but as soon as we have decided, we will let you know.


The film features great views of the city in 2009, great live match sequences from the touch line, and the music of Les Cheatham.