Members of the families of Liam Sweeney and John Alder, the two Newcastle United fans tragically killed in the MH17 disaster, will attend Sunderland AFC's game against Tottenham Hotspur at the Stadium of Light, as guests of the club.
Sunderland supporter Gary Ferguson set up a fund after hearing of the tragedy in order to raise £100 for a wreath in memory of Liam and his fellow supporter John and Sunderland fans took the cause to their hearts, with the fund currently standing at over £33,000. The money raised is to be split between two North East charities, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Marie Curie Hospice in Newcastle, in accordance with the wishes of the Sweeney and Alder families.
David Sweeney, grandfather of Liam, wanted to thank Sunderland fans for the support they have given him and his family and Mr. Sweeney, accompanied by Liam's parents and other family members will attend the Black Cats game against Spurs. Two members of John Alder's family will also be present, along with Gary Ferguson.
Members of both families, along with Gary Ferguson, will take part in a pitchside photograph with SAFC Ambassador Jimmy Montgomery, who took part in recent commemorations for the two fans at St James' Park.
Speaking about his forthcoming visit to the Stadium of Light, David Sweeney said: "The support from the Sunderland people and the money raised for the two charities has been simply magnificent. It is my wish that out of this tragic event that has happened in my life and that of my family, some good can come and if it helps to bring the two sets of fans closer together then that gives us some comfort."
Sunderland AFC's chief executive Margaret Byrne said: "This tragedy has touched the North East as a whole and we welcome the Sweeney and Alder families to the Stadium of Light and offer our support to them at this most difficult time."
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