Sunderland 'Til I Die

Sunderland ‘Til I Die Season 1 – Where Are They Now?

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Sunderland ‘Til I Die, the Netflix documentary series that follows the ups and downs of Sunderland AFC, has been a hit with football fans since its release in 2018. The show’s first season, which aired in December of that year, provided an intimate look at the inner workings of the club during a tumultuous period in its history. Critics lauded the series for its authenticity and emotional depth, along with its unwavering depiction of the ups and downs of life in professional football.

“Sunderland ‘Til I Die” held one of its most compelling aspects in its spotlight on the key figures participating in the club’s day-to-day operations. From owner Stewart Donald to manager Jack Ross to the players themselves, the show provided a detailed look at the people who make Sunderland AFC tick.

Now, several years after the show’s initial release, fans find themselves pondering: where are they now? In this article, we’ll take a look at what has happened to some of the key figures from Sunderland ‘Til I Die Season 1, and explore how their lives have changed since the documentary aired.

Key Takeaways

  • Sunderland ‘Til I Die is a popular Netflix documentary series that provides an intimate look at the inner workings of Sunderland AFC.
  • The show’s first season focused on the key figures involved in the club’s day-to-day operations, and has left fans wondering where those figures are now.
  • In this article, we’ll explore what has happened to some of the key figures from Sunderland ‘Til I Die Season 1, and see how their lives have changed since the documentary aired.

Sunderland AFC: A Brief Background

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Sunderland AFC, also known as the Black Cats, is a professional football club based in Sunderland, England. The club was founded in 1879 and has a rich history in English football.

The club plays its home matches at the Stadium of Light, which has a capacity of over 49,000 spectators. The stadium was opened in 1997 and is one of the largest stadiums in England.

Sunderland has had a mixed history in English football. They have won six top-flight titles, the last of which was in 1936. They have also won two FA Cups and one Charity Shield.

In recent years, Sunderland’s on-field performance has been challenging, resulting in the club’s relegation from the Premier League in 2017. They currently play in League One, the third tier of English football.

Despite their recent challenges, Sunderland boasts a fervent fanbase and earns recognition for its devoted supporters. The club shares a robust rivalry with Newcastle United, with the Tyne-Wear derby standing out as one of the most fiercely contested matchups in English football.

Overall, Sunderland AFC is a historic club with a proud tradition in English football. While they may be facing some challenges at the moment, the Black Cats remain a beloved institution in the North East of England and beyond.

The Documentary: Sunderland ‘Til I Die

Sunderland ‘Til I Die is a sports documentary series produced by Fulwell 73 and directed by Leo Pearlman. The series documents the events around English football club Sunderland A.F.C. The documentary was released on Netflix in December 2018 and has since gained a large following.

The series follows Sunderland A.F.C. during the 2017-2018 season as they face the challenge of playing in the second tier of English football following a disappointing relegation. The documentary covers the highs and lows of the season, including the financial struggles of the club, the transfer window, and the passionate supporters who continue to support the team despite their struggles.

The first season of the documentary consists of eight episodes, each with a runtime of approximately 40 minutes. The episodes are titled as follows:

  1. Blinded By The Light
  2. We Can’t Walk Away
  3. Plastic Shoes
  4. The Time Is Now
  5. Running On Empty
  6. Sink or Swim
  7. Playing With Fear
  8. Making A Stand

The documentary provides a behind-the-scenes look at the club and its operations, including interviews with players, staff, and supporters. It also highlights the impact that football has on the community and the city of Sunderland as a whole.

Overall, Sunderland ‘Til I Die is a well-produced and insightful documentary that provides an in-depth look at the world of football and the impact it has on the people and communities involved. Critics have praised the series for its authenticity and emotional depth, leading to a devoted following encompassing both football enthusiasts and those less interested in the sport.

Season 1: Key Figures

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Sunderland ‘Til I Die Season 1 introduced viewers to several key figures who played a significant role in the club’s fortunes during the 2017-18 season. Here is a brief overview of some of the most prominent personalities featured in the show.

Stewart Donald

Stewart Donald was the new owner of Sunderland AFC, having taken over the club from Ellis Short in May 2018. Donald was a successful businessman who made his fortune in the insurance industry before turning his attention to football. He was determined to turn Sunderland’s fortunes around and bring the club back to the Premier League.

Martin Bain

Martin Bain was the club’s chief executive during the 2017-18 season and was responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the club. Short brought in Bain, who had prior experience at Rangers, to aid in stabilizing the club after its relegation from the Premier League.

Chris Coleman

Following the dismissal of Simon Grayson, Sunderland appointed Chris Coleman as their manager in November 2017. Coleman had previously managed Wales, leading them to the semi-finals of Euro 2016. However, his tenure at Sunderland yielded less success, and he couldn’t avert the club’s relegation to League One.

Simon Grayson

At the start of the 2017-18 season, Simon Grayson occupied the role of Sunderland’s manager. Nonetheless, a string of poor results led to his dismissal in November. Grayson had previously managed several clubs, including Leeds United and Preston North End.

Jack Ross

In May 2018, Sunderland appointed Jack Ross as their manager after their relegation to League One. After his previous managerial role at St Mirren in Scotland, Ross took on the task of leading Sunderland back to the Championship.

Charlie Methven

Charlie Methven was a key figure in Sunderland ‘Til I Die Season 1, serving as the club’s executive director. Donald brought Methven on board to facilitate the club’s transformation, entrusting him with the implementation of various off-pitch changes. Methven’s efforts were deemed vital in enhancing the club’s prospects.

Post Documentary: Where Are They Now?

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After departing Sunderland, Simon Grayson took up the managerial role at Bradford City, only to be ousted after seven months. He presently remains unattached. Martin Bain, once the CEO of Sunderland, shifted to a similar post at Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel after leaving the English club in June 2018.

Ellis Short, the former owner of Sunderland, sold the team in May 2018 to Stewart Donald, subsequently retiring as the CEO of Lone Star Funds. Jermain Defoe, the former Sunderland striker, departed for Bournemouth in 2017. He briefly joined Rangers before reuniting with Bournemouth in January 2019, and is currently active with Scottish side Rangers.

Lee Cattermole, the midfielder, stayed with Sunderland until the culmination of the 2018/19 season, before embarking on a venture with Dutch outfit VVV-Venlo in August 2019. Josh Maja, the young striker, transferred to French club Bordeaux in January 2019 and has since scored 11 goals across 44 appearances.

Jack Rodwell, the midfielder, was released by Sunderland in June 2019 and subsequently joined Blackburn Rovers on a free transfer. His current status is without a club. Aiden McGeady, the winger, stayed with Sunderland until the end of the 2019/20 season, then underwent a loan spell at Charlton Athletic. He later returned to Sunderland in the 2020/21 season but faced exclusion from the squad, leading to a loan move to Plymouth Argyle in January 2021. Currently, he plies his trade at Charlton Athletic.

Chris Coleman, former Wales manager, assumed the managerial position at Chinese club Hebei China Fortune in June 2018, but was dismissed in May 2019 due to a string of poor results. George Honeyman, the midfielder, remained with Sunderland until the conclusion of the 2019/20 season, subsequently joining Hull City on a free transfer, where he is presently engaged.

Similarly, Max Power, another midfielder, persisted with Sunderland until the end of the 2020/21 season, before joining Wigan Athletic on a free transfer. He is currently active with Wigan Athletic. In summary, the documentary’s subjects have transitioned to new clubs and roles, experiencing diverse outcomes in their endeavors post-Sunderland.

The Future of Sunderland AFC

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Sunderland’s 2019-2020 season ended on a disappointing note, securing an eighth-place finish in League One and leaving the club’s outlook in uncertainty. Since their 2017 exit from the Premier League, fans eagerly anticipate their resurgence to the top English tier.

Guiding the team since October 2019, current manager Phil Parkinson faces scrutiny for inconsistent displays and offensive struggles, despite initial promise. The club’s board, however, maintains support for him, eyeing a promotion bid in the approaching season.

Sunderland’s recent challenges encompass transfer missteps and an underdeveloped academy system. The 2018 ownership transition pledged to address these concerns, striving to craft a sustainable success blueprint.

Looking to the 2020-2021 season, Sunderland seeks to capitalize on their strong previous finish. Bolstered by strategic acquisitions, the goal is automatic promotion to the Championship. Yet, they confront fierce competition within League One, necessitating enhanced consistency to attain their ambitions.

Amidst uncertainty, optimism prevails for Sunderland AFC. Empowered by fresh ownership and a talented roster, the club holds latent promise for the future. While meeting fan expectations remains uncertain, the presence of Sunderland in elite English football undoubtedly enriches the landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happened to Sophie Ashcroft after Sunderland ‘Til I Die Season 1?

Sophie Ashcroft, who was the club secretary during Season 1, left Sunderland after the season ended. She joined the League Managers Association as a legal advisor.

Where are the Sunderland ‘Til I Die Season 1 players now?

Many of the players who featured in Season 1 have moved on to other clubs. For example, goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter joined PSV Eindhoven, midfielder Didier Ndong moved to Guingamp, and striker James Vaughan signed with Bradford City.

What were the awards won by Sunderland ‘Til I Die Season 1?

Sunderland ‘Til I Die Season 1 was nominated for several awards, including a BAFTA for Best Factual Series and a Grierson Award for Best Documentary Series. The show also won a Royal Television Society award for Best Documentary Series.

Who is Martin Bain and what was his role in Sunderland ‘Til I Die Season 1?

Martin Bain was the CEO of Sunderland AFC during Season 1. He was responsible for overseeing the club’s operations, including player transfers and financial management. Bain left Sunderland in 2018 following the club’s relegation from the Championship.


In conclusion, Sunderland ‘Til I Die Season 1 provided an intimate look into the inner workings of a football club in crisis. The series followed Sunderland AFC through their tumultuous 2017-2018 season, which ultimately resulted in their relegation to League One.

The show’s behind-the-scenes access allowed viewers to see the highs and lows of the club, from the excitement of new signings to the disappointment of defeat. It also highlighted the passion and dedication of the fans, who continued to support the team despite their struggles.

Since the release of the series, many of the players and staff featured have moved on to different clubs or roles. Martin Bain, the club’s former CEO, has taken on a new position at Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv. Manager Chris Coleman has since managed Chinese Super League team Hebei China Fortune and Welsh national team.

While the show did not provide a definitive answer to the question of where Sunderland AFC will go from here, it did offer a glimpse into the challenges facing a struggling football club. The series’ success has also shown that there is a hunger for behind-the-scenes content in the world of football, and it will be interesting to see what other clubs and leagues follow in Sunderland’s footsteps.