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Let’s Play This Derby Game In The Spirit Of John And Liam

The tragic flight of MH17 on July 17th of 2014 will never be forgotten and the plane was brought down over Ukraine by a Russian-made BUK missile fired from rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine.

On the flight were two Newcastle supporters – 63 year-old John Alder and 28 year-old Liam Sweeney – and they died with the rest of the 298 passengers on board.

They were on their way to watch Newcastle team play in New Zealand on their summer tour.

We will never forget them.

john alder liam sweeney

John Alder and Liam Sweeney

And the Sunderland fans were fantastic in their support and one particular fan Sunderland fan Gary Ferguson, created a fundraising page.

This is what Gary said at the time:

“We may be Sunderland fans who traditionally have deep rivalry with Newcastle, but there are things far more important than any football game.

“The incredibly sad news that has emerged this week about two Newcastle fans who have passed has left us all shocked and deeply saddened.

“Donating here will help pay for a floral tribute to those fans and to unity between the two clubs. Thank you for your time, effort and donations.

RIP to John Alder and Liam Sweeney, who were both far too young.”

The story took off and it was news around the world and Sunderland AFC as well as their fans were also magnanimous  in their condolences and support and thousands of pounds were raised by the fund raising.

The two north-east clubs and the two sets of fans came together at the time to honor John and Liam.

Alan Pardew, Newcastle United manager at the time had this to say:

“Their dedication to travel to support us in New Zealand tells you all you need to know about the passion they had for Newcastle United.”

We will have one minute’s applause for them in the 17th minute of tomorrow’s game.

For every fan at the Stadium of Light tomorrow we hope the support you give for whatever team you support – will be in the spirit of John and Liam.

Let’s ensure there will be no trouble between the fans before, during or after the game tomorrow.

Let’s use this game to honor John Alder and Liam Sweeney and their memory.

10 comments so far

  • SUTTY1978

    Oct 24, 2015 at 3:11 PM

    Comment #1


    Doesn’t seem to be too much talent knocking around in our youth teams this season, suppose we have a couple out on loan and a couple fast tracked to the seniors but out of the ones playing in U21’s and U18’s regularly theres doesn’t look to be many future stars unfortunately.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 24, 2015 at 3:22 PM

    Comment #2

    There was an article in The Telegraph which suggests that the Toon fans have mellowed after the very good support and thoughtfulness by the Sunderland fans to the tragedy.

    I thought their reaction was outstanding and I’m sure it was really appreciated by the friends and relatives of John and Liam.

    I would doubt that there is any real hate or rancour between the two sets of supporters anyway so to suggest we are mellowing is irrelevant as it isn’t necessary.

    I still want us to thrash them 6-0 however as I’m sure will John and Liam if they are looking in on the game.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 24, 2015 at 3:24 PM

    Comment #3

    And as the blog was just moving on as I posted a comment here is a repeat.

    Just watched the Blackburn/Burnley game.

    I liked the look of Marshall seems to be the type of player that would be ideal for us. solid defensively, good going forward and English, what more could you ask for?

  • croftus5678

    Oct 24, 2015 at 3:28 PM

    Comment #4

    i still think thauvin is way too early to write off after he’s played so little and tbf had one great game out of those he has played which showed his accuracy/ timing of runs and passing/crossing/shooting ability’s

    one or 2 good games from him and a lot of fans will be singing his name and forgetting the bad things he’s showed so far which are imo not being fast enough as we would like to be a winger and maybe not strong enough for a slower than normal paced winger.

    if he’s to be a hit i would think he would be more of a janmaat type winger where he’s not that fast but is accurate and times his runs well ! tbf i’d love janmaat to become a winger.

  • jane

    Oct 24, 2015 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #5

    Shola scores for Bolton after 15 mins on the pitch.

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Oct 24, 2015 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #6

    Shola scores on derby weekend. Relax everybody, the win is in the bag.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Oct 24, 2015 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #7

    Nice little finish from Vardy there.

  • Malta Mag

    Oct 24, 2015 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #8

    As much as no one wants any violence in or around the ground, I would hate it to be a Merseyside look alike with everyone singing “Abide with me” and swapping merchandise? It’s that edge between the two “tribes” that makes it special so that 90 odd minutes of venom, makes it what it is and long may it continue. I’m one of the minority that doesn’t mind Sunderland doing well as long as they’re below us, as I love the derbies.
    As for the debate on Thauvin, what is the problem with some people? The kid clearly has class but has not had any game time to prove himself yet. For the time I’ve seen him he looks a far more accomplished player than Cabella, who never would have cut it. It amazes me that Cabella is still rated on these pages because of a 1st half performance at Chelsea, while Williamson played alongside Taylor a couple of seasons back when Colocinni was out and never put a foot wrong yet is mocked in every post. Not saying Willo is something he’s not but let’s be at least be objective?

  • bladeuser

    Oct 24, 2015 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #9

    People I talk to have not mellowed one bit I hate safc and want them relegated

  • TroubledToon

    Oct 24, 2015 at 7:26 PM

    Comment #10

    R.I.P John n Liam


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