Memorial to MH17 victims Liam Sweeney and John Alder

John Alder and Liam Sweeney John Alder and Liam Sweeney were travelling to New Zealand to see Newcastle United play

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A memorial garden is to be created in honour of two Newcastle United fans who were killed when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed, the club has said.

Liam Sweeney, 28 and John Alder, 63, were among 298 people who died when the flight went down in Ukraine last month.

The club also announced a new community award to be named after the pair and an on-pitch tribute at Newcastle's first home game against Manchester City.

So far only Mr Sweeney's body has been formally identified.

Pro-Russian rebels have been blamed for shooting down the plane.

The pair had been travelling to watch the club play pre-season matches in New Zealand and were among 10 Britons killed on the plane.

Newcastle United said officials had agreed plans with the families of the two men.

'Dedication and support'

Club managing director Lee Charnley said Newcastle's captain Fabricio Coloccini and Manchester City's Vincent Kompany would lay wreaths at the centre circle before kick-off on 17 August and a minute's silence observed.

He said: "Our thoughts and our primary concern since the tragic events of 17th July have been focused on supporting the families of John and Liam in any way we can and paying tribute to the two men in an appropriate and respectful way.

"We all understand that our supporters travel significant distances and make many sacrifices to support their respective teams, and the fact John and Liam lost their lives in the course of travelling across the world to support their team is something felt by everyone.

"It was very important for us not just to remember Liam and John at our opening game, but in the years to come, to reflect their dedication and support for the club.

"To this end we will also be creating The Alder Sweeney Memorial Garden, which will be a lasting memorial to both men and will become the focal point for all supporters to remember those who are sadly no longer with us.

"The club has also created The Alder Sweeney Community Award in their memory, which will recognise the efforts of an individual or organisation in the North East that has made an outstanding contribution in their community."

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