The family of football fan John Alder, who was killed in the MH17 crash, have thanked well-wishers for their kindness in the aftermath of the tragedy.
The 63-year-old from Gateshead was travelling with Liam Sweeney, 28, to watch Newcastle United play in New Zealand.
In a statement issued by Durham Police, Mr Alder's family said: "We would like to thank everyone for their thoughts and wishes and incredibly generous gestures, particularly those who have been able to share personal memories of John.
"We are struggling to comprehend what has happened but we are touched and moved by your kind words, acts and the knowledge that so many people saw John for who he was: a kind, courteous man who was much loved as a son, brother, uncle and fan.
"Newcastle United was his life and we are proud of his dedication to the team.
"Our thoughts are with Liam's family and the families of the other passengers at this terrible time."
Thousands of online users have taken to social media to call for the victims of the Malaysian airliner crash to be returned to loved ones.
United States intelligence officials admitted that they do not know who fired the surface-to-air missile that downed flight MH17.
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