John “the undertaker” Alder & Liam Sweeney – A tribute


By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor

As a lifelong Newcastle United fan who has watched them home and away hundreds of times, I was deeply saddened by the deaths of eternally loyal Newcastle supporters, John “the undertaker” Alder & Liam Sweeney.

I can’t say I knew them, I might have drank with them once, as any Newcastle fan will know drinking and the football go hand-in-hand. Things can get a bit blurry.

But in a sea of black and white everyone is your friend. Of course they were only two of the 298 souls on board Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 and we must think of them all. The last thing Newcastle fans would want to be associated is with the (probably apocryphal) local news story when the Titanic sank, which read “Middlesbrough man drowns”

But what happened is a tragedy that has affected two of our own. It could have been me or my friends on that plane, but we didn’t have the loyalty to travel to the other side of the world to watch a friendly match.

Also below is the video of Barry Sweeney, the father of Liam, who says ‘rather it was me on the plane’. A very brave statement from a man who has lost his son and has a terminally ill wife.

I think what sums up this article is that it comes under “sport” and “war” two things that should never ever mix.

This simple poem we pulled from the internet is a great illustration of how our supporters feel.  For more information on

Always remember –  Newcastle United will never be defeated.


Loyal until the end

By Davey Brown

Ground to ground, both day and night

To follow those in black and white

Cheering loud and clapping hands

Among the nation’s loyalist fans


Friendlies, cup games, not a care

If the Toon were playing, you were there

Win or lose, through bad and good

Newcastle United was in your blood


Known by thousands all around

Familiar faces at our grand old ground

Loved by many, all the lads and lasses

Before the next Toon game we’ll raise our glasses


Two empty spaces in the crowd

Don’t worry though, we’ll cheer you loud

This tragic news is sad and dark

But you’ll be the light at St James’ Park


Sleep tight now lads with pride on your faces

And teach the angels The Blaydon Races

For this sad day and through the night

Let Heaven’s gates be black and white


For more information on the writer  visits or contact at @DaveyBrownArt

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