Family of dead Newcastle United supporter release statement via club website

General Views of St James Park before the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Swansea City at St James Park on April 19, 2014
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The family of one of the Newcastle United fans killed in the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 plane crash have released a statement through the club.

The family of John Alder, one of the Newcastle United fans killed in the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 plane crash, have released a statement through the club.

Karen Robbins, John Alder's niece who lives in Australia, spoke to the club's official website on behalf of the Alder family.

"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," she said.

"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."

Fans of North East rivals Sunderland have raised over £7,500 to go towards a tribute to Alder and Liam Sweeney, who also lost his life in the crash.

General views of the Stadium of Light on December 6, 2011
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