Sunderland Fans Raise Funds After Fans of Rivals Newcastle United Die on MH17

Mark PattersonUK Staff WriterJuly 19, 2014

Go Fund Me - Screengrab

Sunderland fans put club allegiance to one side with a classy gesture after two Newcastle fans lost their lives in the MH17 air tragedy.

The two fans, John Alder and Liam Sweeney, were travelling to New Zealand to watch the club's pre-season tour.

The Magpies confirmed their loss on their website and expressed their condolences, while Tim Krul was amongst the players to pay their respects on Twitter:

2 Geordies on plane MH17 travelling to watch Nufc in New Zealand. RIP John Adler and Liam Sweeney.. Our thoughts are with all the families!

— Tim Krul (@TimKrul) July 18, 2014

Fans of Sunderland, writing on the SMB supporter message board, decided to see whether they could arrange a floral tribute of their own to the duo. Their appeal on GoFundMe read:

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. 

The gesture, originally started with a target of raising £100, has at the time of writing raised £4,500 and is rising swiftly.

Newcastle play two games Down Under as part of their pre-season preparations.

[H/T Reddit]