Tribute for Newcastle fans killed on flight MH17

Last updated 08:55 22/07/2014
ALAN PARDEW: The Newcastle United manager has said his team want to put on a show against Sydney FC in Dunedin tonight, in memory of two fans who were on board MH17.
Martin Hunter/Getty Images
ALAN PARDEW: The Newcastle United manager has said his team want to put on a show against Sydney FC in Dunedin tonight, in memory of two fans who were on board MH17.

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A minute's silence will fall across Forsyth Barr Stadium tonight, as a mark of respect for two Newcastle United fans killed on downed flight MH17.

English premier club Newcastle play Sydney FC at the stadium, with the seats of John Alder and Liam Sweeney left empty.

Both were headed to New Zealand on the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER, which crashed in Ukraine on July 17 with 298 people on board.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has told reporters his team will aim to put on a show in memory of the two fans and will wear black armbands. There will also be a minute's silence.

In England, hundreds of football fans have gathered at Newcastle's St James Park for a memorial service, where there was a minute's applause in memory of Sweeney and Alder.

Former Newcastle chairman Sir John Hall described the pair as ''great supporters''.

''When I saw that two Newcastle fans were on that plane I couldn't believe it.

''They travelled all over to see their team and they were caught up in the fighting in the country. England is a far distance from the war but the deaths have brought it very close to home.

''These people have given their lives for their football team.''

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