A FUND set up by a Sunderland fan in honour of the two Newcastle United has now topped £18,000.
Gary Ferguson set up an online fundraising site with the aim of raising £100 for a floral tribute to John Alder, 68, and Liam Sweeney, 23, who were on board Flight MH17 shot down over the Ukraine on Thursday.
Sunderland fans have since donated in their hundreds, despite the bitter rivalry between the Tyne and Wear clubs.
Gary, 48, said: “It has taken my by surprise. The phone has never stopped. It’s overwhelming.”
The appeal site said: “We may be Sunderland fans, who traditionally have deep rivalry with Newcastle, but there are things far more important than any football games.
“The incredibly sad news that has emerged this week about two Newcastle fans who have passed has left us all shocked and deeply saddened.
“Donating here will help pay for a floral tribute to those fans and to unity between the two clubs.
“Any extra money will be donated to a charity that has yet to be decided.
“Thank you for your time, effort and donations.
“RIP to John Alder and Liam Sweeney, who were both far too young.”
To donate, go to www.gofundme.com/brx6wk