Solidarity with the families of Newcastle fans killed in Malaysian Airlines disaster

When banter ends and football seems unimportant
When banter ends and football seems unimportant

Salut! Sunderland, or the collection of individuals who make it happen, is tonight thinking of all the victims of the despicable shooting-down of the Malaysian Airlines Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur flight MH17 over Ukraine, and of the bereaved.

Since this a football site that predominantly concerns a North-eastern club, it is natural that our thoughts should go especially to the families of John Alder and Liam Sweeney, Newcastle United supporters who were on their way to watch their team in a pre-season tournament.

Pete Sixsmith posted this at our Facebook group’s pages:

There are 298 families in mourning for those who were so needlessly killed in the tragedy that has unfolded over Eastern Ukraine. Two of those families are from our region.

John Alder and Liam Sweeney were both travelling to New Zealand to watch Newcastle United in a pre season tournament. They did not get there.

The thoughts of this member of Salut!Sunderland are with John and Liam’s families.

I would not have chosen to put it differently. Jake, whose graphic imagery illustrates Salut! Sunderland, added this comment: “A tragedy for all concerned Pete … apparently the two lads were well known and well liked amongst the black and whites.”

And Aidan Kerridge, another of Sunderland’s supporters, 143 of whom had ticked their approval of Pete’s sentiments when last I checked, contributed his own tribute: “The North East has lost two sons yesterday in the most tragic of circumstances.”

It seemed right to record these expressions of sympathy at the site, and to echo them. RIP John and Liam.

Colin Randall

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10 thoughts on “Solidarity with the families of Newcastle fans killed in Malaysian Airlines disaster”

  1. As a born and bred Geordie and lifelong Toon fan can I say all respect to Sunderland fans in the wake of this awful tragic event. The North East is a very special place especially to ex pats like me. We are an are divided by but also united by football. Again well done all Sunderland fans & RIP the two toon fans.

  2. The deaths of the two men from our regions showed how quickly life can change. They were simply travelling to a pre-season game, something many of us have done.

    When Myles Turnbull a Sunderland supporter was killed by a car in Dunston, Gateshead last year, a red and white flag was left at the spot for many weeks. It was moving to see how supporters of both persuasions show their respect at such a tragic time.

    My sincere condolences to the families and friends of John and Liam.

  3. I salute the Sunderland fans who have been a shining light for their bitter rivals during their time of need. It is humbling to witness such class and to see some good come out of this shocking tragedy. Thank you!

  4. Do these bastards have any idea of the pain and misery inflicted on innocent people?

    My thoughts are with all of the family and friends of those poor people so brutally murdered.

    Rest in peace. I sincerely hope that the perpetrators are brought to justice. Absolutely dreadful.

  5. R.I.P to the two Newcastle fans John and Liam . Such a terrible , pointless tragedy and when it involves a couple of genuine North East lads it seems to bring the reality of it home even more . I heard a very moving interview with Liam’s dad on the radio and my heart went out to him . Every fellow Safc fan I’ve spoken to or read their comments online are genuinely moved by this tragedy and we offer our genuine support and sympathy in your hour of need .

  6. Well put and respect to these Sunderland fans for saying this, if it had of happened to a couple of Sunderland fans I’d be just as gutted. RIP John and Liam.

  7. Nice touch. Must say I’ve been impressed by all of the Sunderland supporters who’ve commented on this tragic event. It’s a shame it takes something like this to bring us together given how much we have in common (other than which team we support obviously).

    RIP John & Liam

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