Liam Sweeney's funeral takes place

The funeral of one of two Newcastle United fans killed in the plane crash in Ukraine will take place August 21. Liam Sweeney's family and friends are gathering at St Mary's Cathedral in Newcastle. His father Barry says it'll be a celebration of Liam's life.

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MH17 victim Liam Sweeney 'never stopped smiling'

MH17 victim Liam Sweeney was a "gentle giant who never had a smile off his face," hundreds of mourners gathered at his funeral heard.

Liam Sweeney was one of 10 Britons who died when flight MH17 went down in Ukraine. Credit: Family Handout/PA

Mr Sweeney was on his way to watch his beloved Newcastle United play in New Zealand when he died. A Newcastle United scarf and shirt was placed on his coffin as a sign of his commitment to the team.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew and the team's captain Fabricio Coloccini turned out to pay their respects.

Newcastle United captain Fabricio Coloccini, Newcastle United assistant manager John Carver, Newcastle United managing director Lee Charnley and manager Alan Pardew Credit: PA
They were seen comforting the Sweeney family including Liam's father Barry (second left) and mother Angela (right). Credit: PA

A tearful rendition of a poem was read out in the cathedral, which included the words: "If the Toon were playing you were there, win or lose through bad and good, Newcastle United were in your blood."

Photographs of Liam Sweeney as a boy adorned the order of service. Credit: PA

Malaysia Airlines, who owned the plane Liam died on, also sent a floral tribute to the funeral which read "with our heartfelt condolences".

The tribute sent by Malaysia Airlines. Credit: PA

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