Five-time Oscar nominated composer George Fenton is comfortably one of today’s most prolific and acclaimed British composers. Having scored well over a hundred films, he has won multiple BAFTA, Emmy and Ivor Novello awards, and has worked on numerous Ken Loach films including ‘I, Daniel Blake’, Hollywood modern classics like ‘Groundhog Day’ and ‘Hitch’, TV series such as Blue Planet, Planet Earth and Frozen Plant, and also wrote the iconic TV theme for Newsnight. He is also a lifelong Manchester United fan, leading to his scoring of a new historical documentary, ‘The United Way’, which tells the epic story of one of the world’s most successful football clubs ever.
The soundtrack has been released digitally by London tastemaker label and analogue specialists, Gearbox Records (Binker & Moses, Bastian Keb, Thiago Nassif, Sarathy Korwar, Theon Cross). The documentary itself is out on Sky Documentaries and streaming services.
Speaking about the release Fenton says, “I’m thrilled to partner with Gearbox Records to release The United Way soundtrack. It’s a film dear to my heart and I hope for United fans it will be a nice audio reminder of the great story behind the club they love”
George Fenton’s score for the United Way is part of a story that began in his childhood. Growing up in south London he collected football cards from packets of sugar sticks made to look like cigarettes. An unhealthy message for children and football although in those days it wasn’t unusual for players to have a cigarette at half time. The first full team he collected was of Manchester United and from that day he was a committed United fan.
The United Way is the epic story of a football club, a city and a man who did more than most to bring success to both. As told by, co-written and featuring Eric Cantona. The film shares his unique insights into this iconic club with a fresh perspective on the “United Way”, taking audiences on a compelling ride through the history and evolution of the world’s biggest football club, and the social and cultural environment that shaped it.
The documentary features a host of United stars and stalwarts- such as David Beckham, Bryan Robson, Brian Kidd, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Teddy Sheringham, Nicky Butt, Peter Schmeichel, the late Tommy Docherty and many, many more – as well as era-defining figures from the realms of music and politics such as Lords Heseltine and Kinnock, and musicians Peter Hook and Shaun Ryder.
Fenton’s musical underscoring adds gravitas and a sense of spiritual awakening to the film, which begins its journey in the early days of the club, in post-war, industrial Manchester. Recent events have shown that the history and city behind an organisation as powerful and global as Manchester United are what matter to people most, and Fenton’s inspiring soundtrack to ‘The United Way’ emphasises this whilst showcasing the club’s core narrative in all its glory.
Speaking about the soundtrack and lead track “Deansgate”, Fenton goes on to say, “Recent events have perfectly illustrated that without their fans, football clubs can’t survive. What drew me to and most touched me about the film and about this sequence in particular is hearing the players speak about how much the fans and the city they represent mean to them when they’re playing football.”