"You can take the Geordie out of Newcastle, but you can't take Newcastle out of the Geordie. Wherever you are in the world, the Toon will always be on your mind"
John Alder, Liam Sweeney: 2 very different people brought together by their love, passion and commitment for NUFC.
John Alder: The elder of the two at 63 was nicknamed the Undertaker due to him wearing black jacket, trousers and white shirt at ALL games. John missed only one game since 1973 and even went to reserve and junior games when he could. John spent most of his money on Newcastle United. He was number 1 in the Platinum club and a regular at the supporters shop in Prudhoe Place many years ago; popping in most days to speak to the volunteer staff.
John didn't talk to others much and I feel privileged to have known him and to have been a friend.
When I gave up my season tickets John would always stop me at away games and tell me to keep the faith... Many of you will have personal memories of John and they can never be taken away.
Liam Sweeney: the younger at 28 years. I met Liam when he travelled on DC Travel coaches and the Back Page travel. His father travelled and his grandfather was a coach driver.
Liam was a jovial character and again very knowledgeable of the game. We became friends and Liam became a coach steward with Back Page, looking after and caring for fans travelling to away games. He was very committed to this role and became a popular and respected figure. He always talked of his family, of whom he was immensely proud.
When we left Back Page we occasionally travelled by car and Liam looked about for alternative coach travel. Amanda won't mind me saying he was slightly apprehensive with regard to Shambles Travel, however I know she runs a great coach and Liam gave it a go. He found another new family and enjoyed every minute; soon becoming a very popular figure.
You will all have personal memories of Liam and once again I was privileged to class him as a friend.
John & Liam came together through their love and passion for NEWCASTLE UNITED. They had planned their journey to New Zealand together to watch their team. What I will always remember is that they died together doing something they loved; supporting Newcastle United
This was a tragedy that shocked the world and involved 298 deaths; brought to our doorsteps by John & Liam. I hope the perpetrators of this act are brought to justice however this is out of our hands. What we can assure is that John & Liam will forever be remembered and never forgotten. A huge amount of money is continuing to be raised in their memory and thanks goes to Gary Ferguson a lifelong Sunderland fan who bridged a divide on this tragic occasion.
JOHN ALDER. LIAM SWEENEY: It has been a privilege to have been part of your lives. You will always be remembered and through these events and legacy you will never be forgotten. You are a huge loss to family friends and the Newcastle United family/community.
Sir Bobby Robson's definition of a Club always comes to mind...John & Liam you are very much a part of that.
REST IN PEACE