Gary Ferguson did a very humane thing after flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine last Thursday, when among the 298 innocent people killed were two dedicated Newcastle fans, John Alder and Liam Sweeney, who were traveling to New Zealand to support the lads down under.
John Alder and Liam Sweeney – lost their lives supporting Newcastle United
Gary simply set up a fund online in the hope he could raise a little money to buy a wreath in honor of John and Liam from Sunderland fans.
And as this story is being written the fund has reached over £31,500 and it shows the complete class of Sunderland fans, and it’s been a headline story over the last week.
Gary met up with Marc – the brother of Liam Sweeney yesterday outside St. James’ Park – and he had this to say on the fund passing £30,000:
“It is another milestone.” “I didn’t ever think we would reach £500, then when we reached £1,000 I was over the moon.¨ “The response has been excellent.”
“It was quite emotional.” “There were a lot of people there and they were coming up to shake my hand.” “It is so moving what the fans have done,” “I am overwhelmed and almost speechless at how much money they have raised.¨
“I didn’t expect it from Sunderland fans, to be honest.¨ “I half expected a couple of Tweets or Facebook messages, but nothing on this scale.¨
“Seeing this today makes getting through each day more bearable, knowing there are people from both sides of the fence looking out for your family.”
Those are great words from Gary, and in addition to Gary’s response, Newcastle United have done everything right in their humane response to the tragedy.
The money that is left over after paying for the wreath, will be split between Newcastle’s Marie Curie Hospice and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, at the request of the two families.
Gary’s act of humanity will be remembered forever – as will John Alder and Liam Sweeney.
And now we need to see some monument or some other lasting tribute at St. James Park, for these two lads who lost their lives supporting Newcastle United.
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