Jul 18, 2014, 8:46 AM EDT
It’s easy to imagine the excitement of John Alder and Liam Sweeney, traveling abroad to see their beloved Newcastle United take part in a tour of New Zealand. How would the new signings look? Did manager Alan Pardew have the late-season skid sorted out?
Tragically, they will not witness the answer to those questions. Alder and Sweeney were among the 298 people aboard Malaysian Airlines flight MH-17 that was shot down over the Ukraine on Thursday afternoon.
The pair were incredible fans, and the club will pay tribute in a number of ways: black armbands during the tour of New Zealand as well as a dedicated area outside the stadium for memories and flowers.
Both men were familiar faces at every Newcastle United away game and attended not only first team games but Reserve and Academy matches too.
John was a lifelong supporter and a familiar sight in the stands for almost half-a-century, having barely missed a single game in that time.
Liam will be known to many fans during his time volunteering as a steward on supporters’ buses to away games.
The release also featured emotional quotes from NUFC managing director Lee Charnley and manager Alan Pardew, the latter referencing the attendance of Alder and Sweeney at Newcastle’s friendly against Oldham Athletic last week.
Current and former players responded on Twitter, too:
All my prayers are going to the two Newcastle fans died in the flight yesterday.
— yohan cabaye (@YCabayeofficiel) July 18, 2014
Very sad to hear about the 2 NUFC fans who were involved in the plane crash yesterday. My thoughts and prayers are with there families 🙏
— Ryan Taylor (@TaylorR1984) July 18, 2014
2 Geordies on plane MH17 travelling to watch Nufc in New Zealand. RIP John Adler and Liam Sweeney.. Our thoughts are with all the families!
The Chronicle’s Sarah Scott told more of the deceased fans in two strong pieces.
He became known amongst fans for always wearing a black suit, getting himself the nickname ‘The Undertaker’. Even in sweltering heat John would be seen in his suit, no matter what country he followed the team to.
In 1999 John was included in the Hall for Fans after not missing a United game since his visit to Queens Park Rangers in 1973.
“Liam has been a Newcastle fan all his life and been going to the away matches since 2007.
“He was going to Germany, every away match, every European tour.
“He worked the night shift in Morrisons in Killingworth. He’d been there for 10 years, they are all gutted.
“Everyone is going to miss him, family and friends.
A “howay the lads” to Alder and Sweeney, and our deepest sympathies to their families and friends.
Apr 21, 2015, 7:42 AM EDT
Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, and Marcelo are all already out for tomorrow’s 2nd leg with Atletico Madrid, and now their striker is unavailable as well.
Apr 20, 2015, 11:27 PM EDT
Mourinho says Chelsea will look to the club’s stacked youth academy for reinforcements, as well as the transfer market.
Apr 20, 2015, 9:44 PM EDT
Liverpool’s captain-in-waiting is reportedly set to sign a new long-term deal at Anfield.
Apr 20, 2015, 8:15 PM EDT
PSG and Bayern Munich did themselves no favors in the first leg, but it’s still 90 minutes from over.
Apr 20, 2015, 7:16 PM EDT
In FIFA and Qatar’s latest installment of “No, We’re Not Joking, We’re Serious”…
Apr 20, 2015, 5:27 PM EDT
Steve Cherundolo got a promotion on Monday, under less than desirable circumstances, but he’s still advancing in the coaching world rather quickly.
Apr 20, 2015, 4:53 PM EDT
He’ll be an MLS MVP one day, but for now Fabian Castillo will have to settle for MLS Player of the Week.
Apr 20, 2015, 4:09 PM EDT
Week 7 was chock full of goals — some really great ones, in fact — making this week’s Team of the Week tough to pick.
Apr 20, 2015, 3:25 PM EDT
With five weeks to go, in-form sides are surging up our rankings of power.
Apr 20, 2015, 2:57 PM EDT
Listen to the latest MiB pod, right here.
Apr 20, 2015, 2:06 PM EDT
The Blues are inching towards the 2014-15 title but many are unimpressed with their defensive displays. Let’s sit down and think about this.
Apr 20, 2015, 1:18 PM EDT
If the Gunners win the FA Cup next month it could well book Spurs a place in the Europa League. Seriously.
Apr 20, 2015, 12:09 PM EDT
PST’s Lead Writer and Editor takes a look back at Week 33 in the PL.
Apr 20, 2015, 10:40 AM EDT
Blatter: “Nothing will get in the way of Russia hosting the best ever World Cup.”
Apr 20, 2015, 10:14 AM EDT
Bayern’s boss positive his side can overturn 3-1 deficit in Tuesday’s second leg.
Apr 20, 2015, 9:15 AM EDT
Earle and Mustoe dissect Chelsea’s defensive display and much more in the latest podcast.
Apr 20, 2015, 8:24 AM EDT
Do United need a new winger? LVG has already made his move for Depay.
Apr 20, 2015, 7:31 AM EDT
Welsh superstar to miss Wednesday’s clash against Atletico Madrid after picking up calf injury.
Apr 19, 2015, 11:10 PM EDT
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo…Eden Hazard?
Apr 19, 2015, 10:09 PM EDT
With clubs such as Liverpool and Manchester United reportedly interested in signing the Burnley goalscorer, Ings has said he will only go where he can get consistent playing time.
- UEFA Champions League preview: Can PSG, Bayern come back from 3-1 down to Barcelona, Porto? 0
- MLS Team of the Week — Stars of Week 7 0
- Premier League Power Rankings: Big climbers galore as momentum kicks in 1
- Premier League Playback: Manchester United prove they can challenge Chelsea for the title 2
- Sepp Blatter: Putin, Russia will host “best ever World Cup” in 2018 3
- Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale set to miss three weeks, Champions League clash vs. Atletico, with injury 1