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Newcastle United mourn loss of fans on Malaysian Airlines flight MH17

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Newcastle United lost two dedicated supporters on their way to New Zealand on Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.

David Rogers

The Toon Army is in mourning today, following the loss of John Alder and Liam Sweeney who passed away when Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine on Thursday afternoon. The two loyal supporters were on their way to watch Newcastle United during their preseason stint in New Zealand next week.

The club issued the following statement about both Adler and Sweeney on their official website:

"The loss of John and Liam is truly devastating news. Both men were dedicated supporters of our Club and were known to thousands of fans and staff alike. On behalf of everyone at Newcastle United we send our deepest condolences to John and Liam's families and friends. The Club will be dedicating an area surrounding the Sir Bobby Robson statue for fans to pay their respects to John and Liam. The manager and players will also be wearing black armbands for both their games against Sydney FC and Wellington Phoenix in the Football United Tour of New Zealand. Arrangements will be made to pay tribute to the two men at the Club's first Premier League game against Manchester City on Sunday, 17th August. Further information regarding this will be announced in due course."

Fans have already begun laying things at the Sir Bobby Robson statue in honor of the two dedicated fans and members of Toon Army, as well as condolences from current and former Newcastle players on Twitter this morning.