St James' Park, Newcastle

Next Game

Newcastle v Burnley

Thursday, 01 January 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

St James' Park, Newcastle

Last Game

Newcastle 3 - 2 Everton

Sunday, 28 December 2014, 16:15

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

W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

P

arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

W

e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

Footer 365

Premier League: Tony Popovic would be free to leave current club for Crystal Palace job

Western Sydney Wanderers chairman Paul Lederer will not stand in Tony Popovic's way if Crystal Palace approach him.

Sky sources: Alan Irvine will be in charge for West Brom's trip to West Ham on New Year's Day

A senior West Brom source has told Sky Sports News HQ that Alan Irvine will be in charge for the game against West Ham.

Transfer news: Fernando Torres heads back to Atletico Madrid on loan until end of next season

Fernando Torres is returning to Atletico Madrid on loan until the end of the 2015-16 season.

Mail Box

What's Happened To Everton And Martinez?

There aren't many people still talking about how the Spaniard is better than David Moyes. Plus, thoughts on Jose Mourinho's moaning and Spurs at least being very fit...

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property