A POEM called Sexy Baz's Birds has helped a college lecturer become the official poet for his home town for a year.

Andy Willoughby, a lecturer in performing arts and higher education at Darlington College of Technology, is the official poet for Middlesbrough.

The 37-year-old submitted three poems in a competition run by Cleveland Arts and Middlesbrough Rotary Club.

Sexy Baz's Birds tells the story of how his best friend in a teenage band that never made it - Paul "Sexy Baz" Barron - had his birds stolen from his aviary in Eston.

Mr Willoughby said: "I just wanted to show what life in Eston could be like, how it could be a bit rough at times and how you have to face reality without letting go of your dreams."

The competition was open to people born in Middlesbrough who were asked to submit poems about the town.

As part of the prize, he will have some of his work published at the end of the year.

He said: "I was really pleased to win, particularly because I am from Middlesbrough.

"It is an honour to represent my community and celebrate its proud working-class history."

Mr Willoughby performs regularly at the Verb Garden Club, in Middlesbrough, and runs a cabaret in Darlington Arts Centre called the Hydrogen Jukebox.