Ex-Northern Ireland international hooks up with local musicians to release song in support of Northern Ireland Women's Euro campaign

Ian Stewart, Rwanda Shaw and Philip McConnell 
Paul McConville

Former Northern Ireland football international Ian Stewart has teamed up with a Belfast musician/songwriter to produce a song for Northern Ireland as they embark on their historic first Women's Euro 2022 appearance this week.

Stewart, whose former clubs include QPR and Newcastle United, is part of The Back Four group alongside Philip McCarroll and they have enlisted the vocal talents Rwanda Shaw from Lisburn to sing on Electric Green.

Described as "a punchy, hooky rock tune with a dollop of soul and pop", Electric Green was produced with the help of with Neal Calderwood at his renowned Manor Park Studio in Co Antrim.

Seeing the Northern Ireland team qualify for Euro 2022 is a particular source of pride for Stewart who also works as the IFA's Grassroots Development Manager. In his role as Norther Ireland's U15, U17 and U19 women's coach, he introduced many of today's squad to international football, giving them their first ever caps. These players include such key figures as Marissa Callaghan, Ashley Hutton, Sarah McFadden and Rachel Furness.

Stewart said: "The lyrics are a tribute to the girls and their struggle for recognition, the hard work and application that paid off with their fantastic qualification. I have followed their careers closely since I worked with them, and I'm so proud of what they've achieved. We knew we had a strong tune, but the musicians involved have really brought it to life, they played a blinder!"

McCarroll, who is a lifelong Northern Ireland football fan said: "We had the title even before the song, and it reflects the thrilling nature of the performances in qualification, but also reminds me of my first ever international football match, the electric green of the pitch and the shirts, and the excitement of international night under floodlights."

The track was released on renowned London label Cherry Red Records on Friday, June 24, and is backed with a cover of The Ronettes soul classic 'Do I Love You?' (a duet between Shaw & McCarroll) and a longer version of Electric Green (the Extra Time cut!)