The KC Stadium

Next Game

Hull City v Newcastle

Saturday, 31 January 2015, 12:45

Barclays Prem

St James' Park, Newcastle

Last Game

Newcastle 1 - 2 So'ton

Saturday, 17 January 2015, 17:30

Barclays Prem

Newcastle fans remembered

Football supporters have held an informal service for the two Newcastle fans who were killed in the Malaysia Airlines atrocity last week.

Last Updated: 21/07/14 at 23:37 Post Comment

Newcastle United: Informal service held for the two Magpies fans killed in the M

Newcastle United: Informal service held for the two Magpies fans killed in the M

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Around 200 people gathered for the impromptu memorial at St James' Park, where flowers, football shirts and scarves have been left in memory of John Alder, 63, and Liam Sweeney 28.

The service outside the ground included a poem to the fans and ended with a minute's applause. 

The pair were flying to New Zealand to watch the Magpies play a series of pre-season friendlies, but their flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur came down in eastern Ukraine on Thursday afternoon, killing them and 296 others.

Before the service Mr Sweeney's father Barry said: "This is one of the most amazing scenes I have ever seen. He and John I hope are in the sky, watching this. They would be amazed."

Mr Sweeney, a father of seven who cares for his terminally-ill wife Lesley, said: "I loved him to bits. He was a diamond."

Well-wishers gathered to pay their respects to the dead men, many of them leaving bouquets of flowers with a message to the two well-known fans who rarely missed a match.

Mr Sweeney was overwhelmed by the scale of the turn-out and thanked everyone for coming.

A fundraising initiative by Sunderland fans has reached £24,500, when the original aim was to get to just £100 and the surplus will be split by the Macmillan Cancer Support and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Liz Luff, of Sir Bobby's cancer-fighting charity, said: "The atmosphere was incredibly emotional. I've not experienced anything like it.

"It is a wonderful way to remember the pair and it has been very special."

Sir Bobby's widow, Lady Elsie, said: "Like everyone, I was shocked and upset when I heard about flight MH17 and the awful loss of life.

"I can't begin to understand what John and Liam's family and friends are going through. It's so hard to comprehend something as terrible as this.

"You often see the best of people in the worst of times and that's certainly true of the Sunderland fans who organised this collection in tribute to John and Liam.

"They, and everyone who has donated to it, are a credit to football and to the North East."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

he uber commercialisation of the 90s has led to the point where this overly familar, try hard, jolly hockey sticks type fronts up a major football match on a weekly basis. Unlike the great presenters of yesteryear, I doubt he would even recognise the scent of Brut.

mufc phil
Football On TV: Jake Humphrey

H

opefully Jose turns up to the game wearing a T-Shirt with Costa's face on, that's the classy thing to do in these situations right?

Petulant_Radish
Costa loses appeal against ban

C

onfirmed. Nick Miller is a douche bag. Lazy, incoherent rant is what this article should be titled. And for the editor to have the temerity to pass this as acceptable writing is shocking. Ah well, anything for clicks right? You got mine. Well done. Your mother must be proud.

poolshortsdown
Gerrard Constantly Searching For That Final Hurrah

Footer 365

David de Gea future key to Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has reiterated his desire to keep David de Gea at Old Trafford.

Juan Cuadrado backed to shine in Premier League by Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says Chelsea-bound Juan Cuadrado has all the attributes to succeed in the Premier League.

Les Hutchison's takeover of Motherwell has been ratified

Lanarkshire businessman Les Hutchison has completed his takeover of Scottish Premiership club Motherwell.

Mail Box

'Costa Is A Bad Man. Suarez Is Not'

That's quite some claim. And yes, unfortunately we are still talking about this. We also have mails on Ronaldinho, possible replacements for Yaya Toure and more...

Red Mist Better Than Calculated Costa?

Hmmm. We're not sure about this argument - one Mailbox says Luis Suarez is easier to forgive because he is a little loco. We also have mails on Studge and more...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company