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.
Jul 3, 2015, 12:53 PM EDT
Analyzing where the final in Santiago on Saturday will be won and lost.
Jul 3, 2015, 11:50 AM EDT
Another day, another healthy dollop of gossip from around the Premier League.
Jul 3, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT
Get ready for some PL action under the lights on a Friday night. Well, one game on a Friday, at least.
Slaven Bilic called “The Special One,” accused of disrespect after West Ham’s Europa League qualifier
Jul 3, 2015, 10:05 AM EDT
Hammers boss is, well, hammered, for not standing in the dugout in a Europa League qualifier.
Jul 3, 2015, 9:10 AM EDT
“El Tigre” has landed with the reigning Premier League champs. Good business from Mourinho?
Jul 3, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
The second half of the MLS season kicks off Friday night. We’ve got four must-watch games for all to see.
Jul 3, 2015, 8:40 AM EDT
Fans of the Citizens and Les Parisiens get ready for a summer of big spending…
Jul 3, 2015, 7:45 AM EDT
Biden’s love for soccer continues to grow, as a presidential delegation is heading to Vancouver.
Jul 2, 2015, 11:47 PM EDT
“Come for the game, stay for the fireworks show afterwards!”
Jul 2, 2015, 11:03 PM EDT
The end is nigh for Freddy Adu’s professional soccer career, isn’t it? This has to be as low as it goes.
Jul 2, 2015, 10:05 PM EDT
One last chance for Jurgen Klinsmann to tinker and fine-tune before the USMNT defends its Gold Cup title.
Jul 2, 2015, 8:53 PM EDT
Japan head coach Norio Sasaki: “I do not feel badly for Laura Bassett.”
2015 Gold Cup — Group C preview: Hobbled Mexico still favorites over Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba
Jul 2, 2015, 7:08 PM EDT
Mexico may have lost two Gold Cup starters in the last week, but they’re still heavy favorites in Group C.
USWNT’s Lloyd, Johnston, Rapinoe shorlisted for Women’s World Cup Golden Ball; Solo for Golden Glove
Jul 2, 2015, 4:45 PM EDT
Four USWNT players have been shortlisted for the Golden Ball and Golden Glove awards.
Jul 2, 2015, 3:35 PM EDT
Here’s a look at who Los Ticos will have to get by in the group stages. Can Canada and Jamaica make a deep run?
Jul 2, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT
Pep is more than happy to keep Schweinsteiger around at the Allianz next season, but he’s becoming a little restless.
Jul 2, 2015, 2:25 PM EDT
Can Klinsmann’s side breeze through group play at the Gold Cup?
Jul 2, 2015, 1:40 PM EDT
The latest gossip is right here, with updates on two monster transfers.
Jul 2, 2015, 1:04 PM EDT
England’s head coach was full of pride and admiration for his team despite falling at the semifinal hurdle.
Jul 2, 2015, 11:57 AM EDT
Kilnsmann reveals he has decided to take the armband off Clint and hand it to Bradley.
- Chile vs. Argentina – Three key battles that will decide the Copa America final 0
- Chelsea confirm season-long loan deal for Radamel Falcao 2
- MLS preview: Timbers vs. Earthquakes, Galaxy vs. Toronto FC headline Week 18 0
- US Vice President Joe Biden to attend USWNT’s World Cup final vs. Japan 1
- USA vs. Guatemala preview: USMNT’s final tune-up before 2015 Gold Cup 0
- 2015 Gold Cup – Group A preview: USMNT favorites over Honduras, Panama, Haiti 0