3:43 am - Wednesday November 4, 2015

Newcastle United pays tribute to fans lost on MH17

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Newcastle United on Monday dedicated its New Zealand tour to two of its staunchest fans, who were killed on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 while en route to watch the games.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew paid tribute to the two fans, John Alder and Liam Sweeney, who were on board the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was brought down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 298 on board.

Mr. Pardew said the team would be looking for strong results from their two-match tour to honour the two men.

“That is what they would have wanted and that is what we want. So in memory of those guys in particular we want this to be a successful tour, as successful as we can possibly make it.” Alder had been a Newcastle supporter for almost half a century, having barely missed a single game while Sweeney was known to many fans through his role as a volunteer steward.

“Owners and managers come and go, as players do, but the fans are always there,” Pardew said. “These two guys, in particular, to go to the lengths that they were going to come here, has brought home just how important they are to us.” Newcastle players will wear black armbands for their games against Sydney FC in Duned in on Tuesday night and against the Wellington Phoenix in Wellington on Saturday.

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