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
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 www.daveybrownart.com or contact at @DaveyBrownArt