There were some emotional scenes at St. James’ Park today, as John Alder and LIam Sweeney were honored with a minute’s applause before the game started today and the two captains – Fab Coloccini and Vincent Kompany in addition to Jimmy Montgomery representing Sunderland – walked to the center circle with family members.
One minute silence in honor of John Alder and Liam Sweeney
The minute’s silence was observed immaculately by the 50,000 St. James’ Park, who then broke out into spontaneous applause at the end of the tribute.
And the family members were greeted with great applause as they walked onto the pitch and then laid flowers in the center circle.
We were pleased the scenes were shown live on TV before the game, and in the US NBC corrëspondent Rebecca Lowe had this to sat at the end of the stirring tribute:
¨Newcastle United are a very tightly knit club indeed.¨
Liam’s father Barrie and mother Angela were accompanied by Newcastle United captain Fabricio Coloccini, and former Sunderland goalkeeper Jimmy Montgomery, who laid a wreath of red and white flowers on behalf of the compassionate Sunderland fans – who have shown complete class since John and Liam were tragically killed.
And then in the 17th minute of the game, fans broke out again in spontaneous applause, joined by the City fans to mark the date – July 17th – and the flight number MH17 – of the downed plane.
In his program note Alan Pardew said the following:
“We lost two of our most loyal supporters in John Alder and Liam Sweeney last month, and I know everyone will join myself and all in our dressing room in endorsing the efforts the club have made and are continuing to make to ensure their memories will live on. They will not be forgotten by any of us.
“The same goes for Newcastle University students Aidan Brunger and Neil Dalton, who lost their lives in a horrible incident in Borneo.””Aidan spent some time at our training ground last season and a number of staff got to know him, so it was especially difficult news to digest. Our condolences go to the families of all four lost souls.”
Aidan Brunger and Neil Dalton were stabbed to death in an incident in Borneo.
Here is how the tribute it has been reported by NBC – here in the US – with the headline:
¨St. James Park oozes class as Newcastle recognizes fallen fans¨
and the link also includes video.
Newcastle United have shown great class, as have Sunderland and their fans- in the way they have honored our fallen fans.
May they all rest in peace.