As we walked past St. James’s Park on our way to the run on Friday, we came across scarves, flowers, and shirts laid at the feet of Sir Bobby Robson’s memorial. These are here in tribute to John Alder and Liam Sweeney, who were Newcastle United fanatics travelling to New Zealand to watch the Toon play in pre-season friendlies. As you must know their plane was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday killing 298 people, including Liam and John. This has unified the football world and Sunderland fans have raised thousands of pounds, originally to buy flowers, but they will now be making a large donation to charity on behalf of the two men.
The MH17 atrocity seemed so far away when I heard about it on the radio on Friday morning, then so close to home on Friday night when I read the tributes. Peaceful men who had no part in any bloody war, on their way to watch a game of footie. Whatever is going on in our lives, it rather puts things into perspective.