- Tyne Tees
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At a press conference this afternoon, Alan Pardew has spoken of Liam Sweeney's funeral and said it was "important for the city" to honour the memory of "an absolute mad Geordie fan".
As hundreds gather at St Mary's Cathedral for the funeral of Liam Sweeney, his father Barry has spoken of a letter of condolence he personally received from Alan Pardew:
MH17 victim Liam Sweeney was a "gentle giant who never had a smile off his face," hundreds of mourners gathered at his funeral heard.
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.
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."
Malaysia Airlines, who owned the plane Liam died on, also sent a floral tribute to the funeral which read "with our heartfelt condolences".
Hundreds of people are gathered at St Mary's Cathedral for the funeral of Liam Sweeney. His family, friends as well as members of the press are there. Alan Pardew is in attendance with some Newcastle United footballers.
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew comforted Barry Sweeney at the funeral of Barry's son Liam who was a dedicated football fan.
Alan Pardew is at St Mary's Cathedral in Newcastle, attending the funeral of dedicated Newcastle United fan Liam Sweeney.
Malaysia Airlines has sent this tribute for the funeral of Liam Sweeney. Liam was on flight MH17 when it crashed over Ukraine.
Latest ITV News reports
Hundreds of mourners have gathered for the funeral of Liam Sweeney, one of the Newcastle United fans who was killed in the MH17 plane crash.