Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Paying Tribute to Those Who Have Passed Away; LOOKING BACK AT A YEAR OF LOSS ACROSS BOTH THE WORLD AND THE NORTH

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Paying Tribute to Those Who Have Passed Away; LOOKING BACK AT A YEAR OF LOSS ACROSS BOTH THE WORLD AND THE NORTH

Article excerpt

Byline: ALASTAIR CRAIG

IN the last 12 months the North East and the world have faced the sad loss of much-loved and respected people.

From Afghanistan soldiers, to sporting legends and brave children, 2009 will be remembered by many families.

The passing which caught most of the hearts of people on Tyneside was that of Sir Bobby Robson in July, aged 76.

Over 50,000 of Newcastle United's broken-hearted supporters streamed into St James' Park, queuing for hours for a moment's reflection on Sir Bobby's life which was lost to cancer. Newcastle United strips spanning the generations were laid at the Leazes End as the most fitting tribute to the man who lived for football.

Photographs depicting Sir Bobby as a young man and the legend he became looked down from the stand on to the pitch he loved best, both as a fan and a manager.

A memorial service at Durham Cathedral was attended by football's great names and members of Sir Bobby's Italia '90 World Cup squad, including Gary Lineker, Paul Gascoigne and Stuart Pearce.

Sir Bobby's death touched the nation, and came shortly after King of Pop Michael Jackson passed away in June.

The Thriller singer collapsed with heart failure at his mansion in Los Angeles and the music world mourned in their millions.

The celebrity world also lost Eas-tenders actress Wendy Richard, who played Pauline Fowler, in February and Big Brother contestant Jade Goody in March.

The continuing war in Afghanistan has taken its toll on North East families.

Three of our soldiers were among the 106 British servicemen and women killed during 2009, making it the deadliest year for the Armed Forces since the bloody Falklands conflict in 1982.

In August, Rifleman Daniel Wild, 19, from Easington Colliery, County Durham, was killed in a bomb blast while trying to save the life of a comrade.

One soldier was wounded in the initial attack in Helmand Province, and Daniel, from 2nd Battalion The Rifles, was carrying him to a helicopter landing zone when there was a second explosion.

In November, Sgt John Amer, 30, from Sunderland, died from fatal wounds suffered in a blast in the Babaji area of Helmand while trying to rescue a colleague who had been maimed in another explosion.

His grieving wife, Sue, paid tribute to her "hero" husband as hundreds gathered for a full military funeral near his home.

And just last week, Lance Corporal Christopher Roney, 23, from Sunderland, of 3rd Battalion The Rifles, died from wounds he sustained in a firefight near Sangin, Helmand. July mourned the loss of Britain's last two First World War veterans, Henry Allingham and Harry Patch, who died just days apart.

Mr Allingham was 113, and the oldest surviving hero of the Great War, as well as the last man from the infamous Battle of Jutland. …

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