John Alder & Liam Sweeney: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

John Alder Facebook


Passionate Newcastle United fans John Alder and Liam Sweeney were among the 298 people who perished onboard the MH17 flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The plane was shot out of the sky by sophisticated missile technology on July 17.

Here’s what you need to know about two of the victims:

1. The Pair Were Traveling 24 Hours to New Zealand For a Newcastle Friendly

Liam Sweeney Facebook

Liam Sweeney. (Facebook)

Lifelong Newcastle United fans John Alder and Liam Sweeney were en route to New Zealand via Malaysia to see their team play in a pre-season tour. In tribute to Alder and Sweeney, Newcastle will wear black armbands throughout the pre-season trip games.

2. Newcastle Legends Have Been Paying Tribute

Tributes have been pouring in from Newcastle United players both past and present.

3. Liam Sweeney’s Father Learned of his Son’s Death Through Newcastle United

Liam Sweeney’s father only learned for certain that his son had died through the Newcastle United website after he failed to get through to emergency services. His father, Barry, said “I wish I’d been on the flight with him, we could have had a drink together.”

4. John Alder’s Neighbor Said ‘He Never Missed a Game’

A neighbor of John Alder said that he rarely missed a Newcastle game. In an official tribute to the two fans, it was noted that the two fans didn’t just go to major games but were regular fixtures at club youth and reserve games. His neighbor, Margaret Bambra said:

He was a lovely guy, never bothering anyone. He went to every game, he never missed a game. He was Newcastle mad.

John was known by the nickname “The Undertaker” due to his all-black game attire. According to the Newcastle Chronicle, Alder was a resident of Gateshead, just outside of Newcastle. In the past, he’d traveled as far as the U.S. and Thailand to watch his beloved team.

5. 9 British People Died in the Tragedy

Liam Sweeney John ALder plane


Alder & Sweeney were among the nine Britons who perished in the tragedy.