Sunderland fans plan fundraising ball in memory of tragic Newcastle supporter Liam

RESPECT: Barry Sweeney meets Sunderland fans at the Stadium of Light.
RESPECT: Barry Sweeney meets Sunderland fans at the Stadium of Light.
3
Have your say

SUNDERLAND fans will continue to pledge their support for a rival fan killed in an air disaster with a sell-out ball held in his name.

All 21 tables at the celebration have been taken by Black Cat fans as they back the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in honour of Liam Sweeney.

TRAGIC: Newcastle United fan Liam Sweeney, who was killed in the flight MH17 disaster.

TRAGIC: Newcastle United fan Liam Sweeney, who was killed in the flight MH17 disaster.

The 28-year-old Newcastle fan died in July when Malaysian Airways flight MH17 crashed as he and fellow supporter John Alder, were making their way to see the Magpies play in a pre-season match in New Zealand.

In the aftermath of the disaster, his fellow Newcastle United fans rallied to support their loved ones, with Black Cat followers also paying their respects to the pair.

A fund was set up to raise cash, with Liam’s loved ones invited as guests at the Stadium of Light as the team took on Tottenham Hotspur.

More than £33,500 was donated and then split between the foundation and the Marie Curie Hospice in Newcastle.

I just thought with Liam working for Morrisons, and the clubs raising £33,000 after the sad event, although I never met him, this would be a good opportunity to campaign again.

Ian Sutherland, fundraiser

Now, Ian Sutherland, 49, from Hetton, hopes to top up the cash and estimates between £3,000 and £50,000 will be raised through the ball.

Ian works for Morrisons in Jarrow as a senior manager, while Liam was a night shift worker at the firm’s Killingworth store.

The ball, on Sunday, May 3, will be the latest he has held in aid of charities, with the event to feature auctions of football memorabilia from both clubs to be up for grabs.

He said: “I just thought with Liam working for Morrisons, and the clubs raising £33,000 after the sad event, although I never met him, this would be a good opportunity to campaign again.

“I got in touch with his father Barry and we’ve made friends.

“I don’t think he can believe he would ever have so many Sunderland fans as friends, and we can cap this off with a charity ball.”