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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.”

Northern Lights: Top photography tips

Tonight is the best chance to see the Northern Lights in our region for a long time.

No guarantees - but if it does happen you might want to know how to photograph it.

Viewer Alison Leddy has given us her top tips for capturing the phenomenon on camera.

Go as far away from any light pollution as possible and look to the north for clear dark skies.

The coast is generally the best.

Be prepared for a long wait and keep taking photos and checking on your camera.

– Alison Leddy
Alison captured this shot earlier this year Credit: Alison Leddy

A lot of the time it isn't visible to the naked eye but because you are doing a long exposure, your camera's sensor picks up the light and colours.

Best tip ever is to wrap up warm, it could turn into a long night.

– Alison Leddy

If you do get a picture you can email me your pictures to:

weatherpics@itv.com

Or Tweet me:

@Ross_Hutchinson

And good luck!!

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Mother of Jordan Roberts pays tribute to her son

The mother of 17-year-old Jordan Roberts, who died after getting into difficulties in the River Wear on Monday has paid tribute to her ‘wonderful and much loved’ son.

In a message released through the family’s police liaison officer, Brenda Roberts said the death of Jordan, who had seven brothers and sisters, had left everyone who knew him completely devastated.

“Jordan loved to be busy and loved going out to help people in the community. He would cut the garden or go to the shops for people who were unable to do so themselves. There is a page on Facebook with over 600 messages about our boy, which shows how much Jordan was liked and loved.

“And everyone’s love has been shown through the cards and flowers we have received,” said Mrs Roberts.

“Jordan loved to play jokes and was a happy-go-lucky boy who loved to ride about on his bike with his friends.

“Jordan will never be forgotten by anyone – his mam and dad, sisters, brothers, aunties, uncles, cousins, his friends and girlfriend. All the family, especially his mam and dad want to thank all of the crew and Robert (‘Butch’) for their help as they managed to save Callum, who is now recovering in hospital.

“It has been so weird writing this as I could go on and on. Jordan, you were taken away so soon. Keep smiling son, as your smile and laughter will never be forgotten.”

Jordan’s friends have arranged to meet at the Complex centre in Downhill, Sunderland, at 5pm today to light candles and lanterns in Jordan’s memory and to pay their respects.

World Cup tickets for North East matches go on sale

Up to one million tickets for the Rugby World Cup 2015 will go on sale to the general public from today.

Three of the matches will be played at St James' Park in Newcastle.

South Africa will take on Scotland on Saturday October 3rd.

Samoa play Scotland on Saturday October 10th.

The final fixture is New Zealand versus Tonga is on Friday October 9th .

Webb Ellis Trophy Credit: Owen Humphies/PA Wire

Tickets will be available until 29 September, 2014. They are priced in four categories for all matches, starting at £15 for adults. Child tickets, from £7, will be available for 41 matches.

Tickets will be sold online via the official Rugby World Cup 2015 website tickets.rugbyworldcup.com.

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