Newcastle United's bitter rivals Sunderland have put their differences on the pitch aside to raise more than £10,000 in tribute to the two Newcastle fans who died in the MH17 disaster.

Liam Sweeney, 28, John Adler, 63, were killed while travelling to see their team play in a pre-season tour of New Zealand.

In a show of solidarity after the tragedy Sunderland fans set up an online fundraiser to raise £100 for a floral tribute.

But hundreds of people are continuing to add donations.

Gary Ferguson, who created the fundraising site said: "We may be Sunderland fans, who traditionally have deep rivalry with Newcastle, but there are things far more important than any football games.

"The incredibly sad news that has emerged this week about two Newcastle fans who have passed has left us all shocked and deeply saddened.

"Donating here will help pay for a floral tribute to those fans and to unity between the two clubs. Any extra money will be donated to a charity that has yet to be decided.

"Thank you for your time, effort and donations. RIP to John Alder and Liam Sweeney, who were both far too young."

Tributes were left at the feet of the statue of Sir Bobby Robson outside Newcastle's St James' Park. Credit: ITV News/Kenny Toal

A Northumbria Police spokesman said Mr Sweeney's family have now asked to be allowed to grieve in peace.

He said: "They wish to thank the public for their support, kind words and donations.

"It is not yet known which charity donations will go to but the family will make a decision once discussed with the family of John Alder."