Malaysia Airline crash: Newcastle fans on passenger list

NUFC shirts Newcastle shirts were placed outside St James' Park in tribute to the two fans

Related Stories

Two Newcastle United fans going to the club's pre-season tour were on a flight that crashed in Ukraine.

John Alder and Liam Sweeney, 28, were on the passenger list for flight MH17, Malaysia Airlines confirmed.

The Boeing 777 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed on Thursday with 298 people on board.

Newcastle United and manager Alan Pardew have paid tribute to the fans. The names of other British people on the flight are starting to emerge.

They include Ben Pocock, from Bristol, who was studying at Loughborough University, and Richard Mayne, a Leeds University student from Leicestershire.

Flight MH17 came down 50km from the Russia-Ukraine border.

The two fans were travelling to New Zealand to see their team play.

John Alder and Liam Sweeney John Alder and Liam Sweeney were going to New Zealand to see Newcastle United play

Liam Sweeney's father, Barry, described his son as a "tremendous bloke".

He said: "Football was his life, it was all he talked about.

"I'd rather it was me sitting on that plane than him because he was only 28."

Mr Sweeney said he was "bit hurt" to have had his worst fears confirmed on the NUFC website, after failing to get through on the emergency lines.

"I could have gone over [to Amsterdam] but my passport ran out a couple of years ago and the wife can't get away because she's terminally ill," he said.

"And are you just going to be there with people not knowing any more than they do here?

"I wish I'd been on the flight with him, we could have had a drink together."

Barry Sweeney said he feared the worst when he heard about the plane coming down

After viewing tributes to his son at St James' Park, Mr Sweeney said: "There are some nice people out there.

"He was a very, very popular lad."

He also praised the response of Newcastle United after it was announced players would wear black armbands in upcoming games in tribute to the two fans.

"I think if there is an afterlife he would be proud," Mr Sweeney said.

"I think he would have liked to watch them for a few more years though."

John Alder's family released a statement paying tribute to him.

They said: "We would like to thank everyone for their thoughts and wishes and incredibly generous gestures.

"We are struggling to comprehend what has happened, but we are touched and moved by your kind words, acts and the knowledge that so many people saw John for who he was: a kind, courteous man who was much loved as a son, brother, uncle and fan."

Barry Sweeney at St James Park Barry Sweeney visited St James Park to view tributes to his son

Newcastle's managing director Lee Charnley described the news as "devastating".

He said: "Both men were dedicated supporters of our club and were known to thousands of fans and staff alike.

"On behalf of everyone at Newcastle United we send our deepest condolences to John and Liam's families and friends."

Alan Pardew said: "Myself and all the players are deeply shocked and saddened by this terrible news.

"We all knew how passionately John and Liam supported the team and the club.

"They were with us just earlier this week for our first pre-season friendly against Oldham and their dedication to travel all the way around the world to support us in New Zealand tells you all you need to know about the passion they had for Newcastle United."

The smouldering crash site There were also passengers from the Netherlands, Indonesia, Germany, Belgium, the Philippines and Canada

A spokesman for Malaysia Airlines confirmed both Newcastle fans were on the passenger list for the flight.

Steve Wraith, NUFC Fans United: "It's a very sad day for Newcastle United"

As well as nine from the UK, there were also passengers from the Netherlands, Indonesia, Germany, Belgium, the Philippines and Canada.

Newcastle United said Mr Alder 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.

Start Quote

Today, regardless of nationality, we are all united in grief”

End Quote Najib Razak Malaysian Prime Minister

His neighbour, Margaret Bambra, 66, said she had known him for about 40 years.

She said: "He was a lovely guy, never bothering anyone. He went to every game, he never missed a match. He was Newcastle mad."

Fans' website NUFC.com said: "We're desperately sad to report that they were John Alder and Liam Sweeney.

"Both were well known to away followers, particularly John, whose usual match-day attire led to the affectionate nickname of 'The Undertaker'.

"Both were in attendance at Oldham on Tuesday, doing what they loved. Our thoughts are with their friends, families and the many fans who knew them by sight."

Floral tribute A memorial to John Alder and Liam Sweeney has sprung up outside St James' Park

Fanzine The Mag, said: "It is a tragedy though for all Newcastle fans and we hope everybody, whether they knew them or not, gives a minute to think about their loss, as well as all of those other people who tragically lost their lives on that flight."

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said "no stone will be left unturned" in the investigation into what happened.

He said: "Today, regardless of nationality, we are all united in grief."

More on This Story

Related Stories

From other news sites

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Tyne & Wear

Weather

Newcastle upon Tyne

16 °C 14 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    Northumberland journalist will 'face no further action' 14:29:

    A North East freelance journalist held last year by police investigating alleged corrupt payments to public officials is to face no further action, the Met Police says.

    The man, 44, was arrested at his home in Northumberland over conspiracy to cause misconduct in public office.

    He was the 72nd person to be arrested under Operation Elveden, which is being carried out by the Metropolitan Police. It runs alongside the phone-hacking inquiry Operation Weeting and Operation Tuleta, a probe into computer hacking.

     
  2.  
    Rushworth takes nine wickets 14:16: Martin Emmerson BBC Newcastle

    Durham's Christopher Rushworth has taken nine wickets in the first innings as Northants struggled to find form in an attempt to attack their opponents' 392-all out.

    Newton, Duckett and Wagner, all out for a duck, were three of the nine taken while Rushworth was at the crease. He finished 9-52.

    Ben Stokes took one other wicket leaving the Northants all out for 83. Listen to commentary or see the live scorecard.

     
  3.  
    News on the hour 13:57:

    The top local headlines at 14:00 include:

     
  4.  
    Boro match stats 13:45:

    Middlesbrough's winning goal came just 95 seconds into the match against Cardiff.

    Only two of Boro's 12 shots were on target, which trumps Cardiff's one shot on target out of 13.

    Match stats graphic

    Boro's win was watched by 19,711 at the Cardiff City Stadium.

     
  5.  
    Teesside's Lowry? 13:30: Colin Briggs BBC Look North

    A rediscovered industrial artist - described as "Teesside's Lowry" - has been placed firmly back in the spotlight with his work being displayed at the National Football Museum.

    Dave Watson

    Dave Watson was a budding post-war artist from Middlesbrough's gritty Southbank, but ended up painting the sides of ships instead. At the age of 70, he's finally finding recognition, not far from where Lowry himself worked. There's more on this on BBC Look North now on BBC One.

     
  6.  
    Northampton 5-1 Hartlepool 13:24:

    Marc Richards and Kaid Mohamed scored twice as Northampton recovered from an early Hartlepool goal to win 5-1.

    Charlie Wyke gave the visitors a first-minute lead before the goals flew in at the other end. Richards equalised with a penalty before Mohamed beat Scott Flinders from 10 yards and then headed the third.

    Marc Richards

    Lawson D'Ath made it four from close range before ex-Chesterfield striker Richards completed a comprehensive win after good work by Mohamed.

     
  7.  
    Lorry hits railway bridge 13:11: Newcastle Chronicle
  8.  
    News on the hour 12:59:

    The top local headlines at 13:00 include:

    • BBC Newcastle: A Newcastle charity which pays for defibrillators in public places has won £50,000.
    • BBC Tees: Darlington Council hopes a new £700,000 parking scheme will encourage shoppers into the town centre.
     
  9.  
    Moorsholm in Bloom 12:50: Paul Baird BBC Tees

    I've been to Moorsholm in East Cleveland who won best village and best entry at the Northumbria in Bloom awards 2014.

    The villagers told me they worked for five years to win the award and are over the moon.

    Moorsholm in Bloom group

    They will go on to represent the region at the 2014 national Britain in Bloom awards in Bristol next month.

     
  10.  
    Cancer patient to raise funds 12:42: Sunderland Echo Newspaper

    Brave cancer patient Dylan Knox, from Houghton, is on a fundraising mission after finding out his rare bone cancer cannot be cured.

     
  11.  
    NUFC players send thoughts 12:26:

    Former Newcastle players have been reacting to the news that Jonas Gutierrez is being treated for testicular cancer.

    Denmark forward Peter Lovenkrands, who played at Newcastle from 2009 to 2012, tweets: "Can't believe the news about my good friend Jonas. Testicle cancer. I wish you a speedy recovery my friend. #SpiderMan #Nufc"

    Former Magpies goalkeeper Steve Harper tweets: "Buena suerte a mi amigo Jonas with his battle with testicular cancer. Great lad and teammate who always gave 100% for the Toon shirt."

     
  12.  
    Trainee teacher jailed for messages 12:12:

    A trainee teacher who was given a suspended sentence for sending graphic messages to a schoolgirl he met while working as a coach at a sports camp has had his term increased by the Court of Appeal.

    Tony Marsden, 23, of Whitley Bay, pleaded guilty to causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and was given 16 months suspended for two years.

    Solicitor General Robert Buckland argued the sentence was "unduly lenient", adding he was "pleased" that the court had increased it to three years and four months in prison.

     
  13.  
    News on the hour 11:59:

    The top local headlines at 12:00 include:

     
  14.  
    Stan Laurel letter sells for £1,400 11:50:

    A letter from comedian Stan Laurel has been sold for almost three times its estimated value at auction.

    The signed note was sent in 1960 to the family of Mr Laurel's childhood friend Margaret Miller, from Tynemouth, who went on to marry the star's school friend.

    Stan Laurel letter

    It was expected to fetch between £300 and £500 when it went under the hammer at Newcastle auction house Anderson and Garland yesterday but was bought for £1,400 by a private British buyer.

     
  15.  
    Cardiff 0-1 Boro 11:38:

    Kike scored after just 95 seconds as Middlesbrough beat Cardiff City to move up to eighth in the Championship.

    The Spanish striker slotted home Albert Adomah's cross from close range to inflict the second home defeat in four days on the Bluebirds.

    Garcia Martinez

    Juan Cala fired City's best chance wide late on as Boro held on.

     
  16.  
    Share your views 11:24:

    We've introduced BBC Local Live to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place. Tell us what you think.

     
  17.  
    Unemployment rises in North East 11:15:

    North East unemployment has gone up by 1,000 to 132,000, latest figures show.

    Regional unemployment figures from May to July shows our region along with the South West are the only two areas that have seen an increase.

    The North East however also has the highest rate of unemployment currently standing at 9.9%.

     
  18.  
    News on the hour 11:00:

    The top local headlines at 11:00 include:

     
  19.  
    Hoping to start on time 10:44: Martin Emmerson BBC Newcastle

    It's another murky day at Chester-le-Street. The umpires have already been out with the light meters.

    We could be in for another day of delays as Durham continue their LV County Championship match against Northants. They are hoping to start on time though.

    Durham's cricket ground

    Listen to full match commentary or keep up with the live scorecard.

     
  20.  
    Man charged after road rage incident 10:32:

    A man has been charged following a road rage incident in Sunderland. It allegedly took place at 07:15 on Tuesday on Birtley Lane, near the roundabout with the junction of the A195 and A1.

    The 34-year-old man will appear before Sunderland Magistrates' Court later and he has been charged with a section 18 assault and possession of an offensive weapon.

     
  21.  
    Missing pensioner found 10:21:

    Frederick Watson, 83, who was reported missing in Stanley, County Durham, was found safe and well last night.

    Durham Constabulary thanked everyone who helped in the search for him.

     
  22.  
    View from the Borders 10:10: Stephanie Finnon BBC Newcastle

    I'm in Berwick this morning ahead of the Scottish referendum tomorrow finding out how people here in the borders feel about how the decision might affect them.

    Berwick-upon-Tweed
     
  23.  
    News on the hour 09:59:

    The top local headlines at 10:00 include:

     
  24.  
    Gutierrez 'great guy' - Barton 09:48:

    Reacting to news that Jonas Gutierrez is being treated for testicular cancer, former Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton tweets: Heard the terrible news about @elgalgojonas Wish him a speedy recovery. Great guy with a great family. My thoughts are with them all x

     
  25.  
    Behind the scenes 09:33: Charlie Charlton BBC Newcastle

    We're always delighted to meet some of our listeners. I met Ray from Prudhoe who came over to say hello while at Newcastle Central Station.

    Ray and Charlie Charlton
     
  26.  
    Land for planned harbour 09:25: David MacMillan BBC Tees

    A new harbour could be built on the River Tees.

    If plans for a potash mine are approved, a harbour will be built at Bran Sands with space for two ships.

    Site for harbour

    Planning applications for the mine project are due to be submitted this month and plans for the harbour will be submitted in December. I'll have more on this on BBC Tees.

     
  27.  
    Delays on Metro 09:12:
  28.  
    News on the hour 08:59:

    The top local headlines at 09:00 include:

     
  29.  
    Patchy light rain 08:43: Lisa Gallagher Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

    A murky start, with extensive hill fog, low-level mistiness and perhaps some patchy light rain. Although most areas will then become dry and brighten up, it will stay rather cool and cloudy throughout.

    Weather forecast

    Maximum Temperature: 17C (63F). Check today's forecast near you.

     
  30.  
    Scottish referendum 08:30: Charlie Charlton BBC Newcastle

    We're at Newcastle Central Station this morning discussing tomorrow's vote on the Scottish referendum.

    I'm with Fergus Hewison, our political reporter, looking at what both sides of the campaign have been saying.

    Fergus Hewison and Charlie Charlton
     
  31.  
    Gutierrez thanks fans 08:13:

    Jonas Gutierrez has thanked fans for their support after revealing he's being treated for testicular cancer.

    The Newcastle midfielder says he has had an operation in Argentina to remove his left testicle after the discovery of a tumour.

    Jonas Gutierrez

    The 31-year-old is now undergoing chemotherapy. Gutierrez tweeted: "Thanks for all the messages. Always looking forward."

     
  32.  
    Top headlines
     
  33.  
    Traffic building 08:07:

    The A1032 in Middlesbrough over the Newport Bridge is closed in both directions between Cannon Park Interchange and the A1046 Haverton Hill Road junction because of the continuing bridge repainting.

    There's also heavy traffic on the A1 Western Bypass southbound between the Hexham turn off in Blaydon and the Dunston Interchange in Gateshead. More on BBC Travel News for Teesside and Tyne and Wear.

     
  34.  
    Good morning 08:00: Lloyd Watson BBC News

    Welcome to BBC Local Live. I'll be bringing you news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the North East.

    If you'd like us to feature your comments or pictures, send them to us by email, tweet us @BBCNewsNE or join our Facebook page.

     

Features

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • SpiderWeb of wonder

    BBC Earth takes a unique journey inside the body of a giant tarantula

Programmes

  • Cinema audienceClick Watch

    Brighter 3D films - the new laser-based system promising to deliver crisper, clearer movies

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.