Body of MH17 victim identified

The body of a second football fan who was killed in the MH17 disaster has been identified, the Foreign Office said.

Newcastle United fan John Alder died on board flight MH17 which was shot down over the Ukraine
Newcastle United fan John Alder died on board flight MH17 which was shot down over the Ukraine

Newcastle United super fan John Alder, 63, was travelling to New Zealand with his friend Liam Sweeney, 28, to watch their team play pre-season friendlies when the Malaysia Airlines flight was shot down in the Ukraine five weeks ago.

The crash claimed the lives of all 298 people on board.

Mr Sweeney's remains were identified and during his funeral service in Newcastle on August 21 his family expressed the wish that Mr Alder's body could also soon be recovered and brought back to the UK.

The identification process has now been completed in the Netherlands.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Service spokeswoman said: "We can confirm the positive identification of another British victim of flight MH17, John Alder.

"The family have been informed and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.

"We continue to provide consular assistance to the family."

The confirmation came on the day Newcastle United opened a garden of remembrance outside St James' Park for the two super supporters - and all other fans who have died.

The club's managing director, Lee Charnley, said: "The loss of John and Liam was truly devastating news.

"Both men were dedicated supporters of our club and were known to thousands of fans and staff alike."