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Families of MH17 victims to attend Sunderland game

John Alder and Liam Sweeney

Members of the families of Liam Sweeney and John Alder, the two Newcastle United fans tragically killed in the MH17 disaster, will attend Sunderland AFC’s game against Tottenham Hotspur at the Stadium of Light on Saturday as guests of the club.

Sunderland supporter Gary Ferguson set up a fund after hearing of the tragedy in order to raise £100 for a wreath in memory of Liam and his fellow supporter John and Sunderland fans took the cause to their hearts, with the fund currently standing at over £33,000.

The money raised is to be split between two North East charities, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Marie Curie Hospice in Newcastle, in accordance with the wishes of the Sweeney and Alder families.

David Sweeney, grandfather of Liam, wanted to thank Sunderland fans for the support they have given him and his family and Mr Sweeney, accompanied by Liam’s parents and other family members will attend the Black Cats game against Spurs. Two members of John Alder’s family will also be present, along with Gary Ferguson.

Members of both families, along with Gary Ferguson, will take part in a pitchside photograph with SAFC Ambassador Jimmy Montgomery, who took part in recent commemorations for the two fans at St James’ Park.

Speaking about his forthcoming visit to the Stadium of Light, David Sweeney said: “The support from the Sunderland people and the money raised for the two charities has been simply magnificent. It is my wish that out of this tragic event that has happened in my life and that of my family, some good can come and if it helps to bring the two sets of fans closer together then that gives us some comfort.”

Sunderland AFC’s chief executive Margaret Byrne said: “This tragedy has touched the North East as a whole and we welcome the Sweeney and Alder families to the Stadium of Light and offer our support to them at this most difficult time.”

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Transfer Deadline Day: What it meant for our clubs

Newcastle Midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa signed a last-minute loan deal to go to Hull, and defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa went to Roma on a season-long loan.

Sunderland Defender Sebastien Coates joined on loan from Liverpool, as did Ricardo Alvarez from Inter Milan.

Valentin Roberge joined Reims on a season-long loan and Modibo Diakite left by mutual consent.

Middlesbrough Jelle Vossen signed on a season-long loan from Genk. Yanic Wildschut signed a two-year deal from Heerenveen, and Jamal Blackman arrived on loan from Chelsea.

Seb Hines joined Coventry on loan.

Hartlepool Luke James has signed for Peterborough for an undisclosed fee.

Sunderland AFC sign Ricardo Alvarez

Credit: Barrington Coombs/Everton FC/Press Association Images

Sunderland AFC have completed the signing of Ricardo Alvarez on a season-long loan deal from Italian giants Inter Milan.

The 26-year old Argentina international midfielder arrives on Wearside for the 2014/15 campaign, becoming the 9th signing this summer, following Sebastian Coates, Jack Rodwell, Jordi Gomez, Billy Jones, Costel Pantilimon, Patrick van Aanholt, Santiago Vergini and Will Buckley to the Stadium of Light.

Speaking about his move to Sunderland, Alvarez said: “I’m very happy to be here. It’s a great opportunity, a great club and I’m looking forward to be playing in England and playing my part for Sunderland.”

Sunderland secure Liverpool's Sebastian Coates

Sebastian Coates playing for Liverpool Credit: Martin Rickett/PA

Sunderland AFC have completed the signing of defender Sebastian Coates on a season-long loan from Liverpool FC.

The 23-year old Uruguayan international is the 8th new recruit on Wearside this summer.

Coates came to England in 2011 from Uruguayan club Nacional, making 24 appearances for Liverpool, before returning to Nacional on loan last season.

The centre-back has earned 15 intentional caps for Uruguay, with his latest appearance for his country being the 2-1 victory over England in the 2014 FIFA World Cup group game.

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Pardew claims Colback's move to Newcastle helped secure England call-up

Colback has impressed since joining Newcastle Credit: PA

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has said he is convinced Jack Colback's move from Sunderland to Newcastle was a key factor in his first England call-up.

The 24-year-old midfielder was a surprise inclusion in Roy Hodgson's squad for next month's friendly against Norway and the Euro 2016 qualifier in Switzerland just weeks after leaving Sunderland, where he had been since the age of 10.

Pardew believes the way Colback has negotiated his controversial switch from Wearside to Tyneside will not have gone unnoticed at Soho Square.

The 53-year-old said: "It's great for north-east football, because he did a lot of this [to earn his] call-up at Sunderland."

For more on this story, visit ITV Football.

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