Tyne & Wear

MH17 crash: John Alder's match programmes donated to Sir Bobby charity

John Alder Image copyright PA
Image caption John Alder was a keen Newcastle United fan and had been travelling to watch his team play when the plane came down

The family of Newcastle United fan John Alder, killed in the MH17 disaster, has donated his match programme collection to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Mr Alder died alongside fellow fan Liam Sweeney and 296 others when the plane was shot down over Ukraine on 17 July.

The pair were killed while making a trip to see NUFC play in New Zealand.

The cancer research charity, set up by the former Newcastle and England manager, said it would auction the programmes in the New Year.

Mr Alder's sister Joyce decided to donate the large collection to the foundation.

Image copyright Newcastle United
Image caption The club's first programme of the season was in tribute to the men

It comes after an online fundraising page set up by Sunderland supporters raised more than £33,000 in memory of the two fans of their footballing neighbours.

The online fund was founded to raise £100 for a floral tribute to the two Toon Army members, with the rest split between the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Marie Curie Hospice in Newcastle.

Sixty-three-year-old Mr Alder's body was returned to Gateshead last week. His funeral is expected to take place in the next few days.

In a statement, Mr Alder's family said: "The family of MH17 victim John Alder would like it to be known that John's body has now been returned to Gateshead and would like to express their gratitude for all the support and good wishes received during this long and difficult period.

"Preparations are now being made for a private funeral service for John's family and friends later this month."

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