Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I Know the Passion of These Newcastle Fans - Losing Two Is Just Devastating; Former Magpies' Skipper Kevin Nolan Reveals His Sadness over the Two United Fans Killed En Route to New Zealand

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I Know the Passion of These Newcastle Fans - Losing Two Is Just Devastating; Former Magpies' Skipper Kevin Nolan Reveals His Sadness over the Two United Fans Killed En Route to New Zealand

Article excerpt

Byline: LEE RYDER WITH UNITED IN NEW ZEALAND

KEVIN NOLAN has revealed his devastation after loyal Newcastle United supporters John Alder and Liam Sweeny lost their lives on the tragic MH17 flight on their way out to support the Magpies in New Zealand.

The pair watched Nolan in action during his stint as Newcastle captain. And West Ham skipper Nolan - whose heart is still close to the black-and-whites - has paid his respects during the Football United Tour here in Wellington. Nolan told the Chronicle: "It's just so sad.

"We obviously heard the news on the morning when we woke up before we came out here.

"And to think of the passion of playing for Newcastle United and the passion of the fans - and I know what they are like - is devastating.

"They are football mad. They travel anywhere to see their team.

"When I heard that two of them were on it - two lads who were there week-in, week-out - when I was playing, to hear they were on that flight my heart went out to the families immediately."

Nolan admits that hearing the news of John and Liam's horror left him cold.

But he feels that it underlined the passion of the Geordie faithful.

He said: "I just thought about how great the Newcastle fans were.

"And the times I enjoyed at the club and the great receptions I received over the years.

"It's never a good day when you hear things like that.

"As I say, my heart goes out to the families.

"They live and breathe football up in Newcastle and it was such a tragic day for them and all the other people who lost their lives, kids and families who got on a flight and never came home because the plane was hit like that.

"It seems so surreal and so, so sad.

"All of the love in my heart goes out to the families who have lost that people in that tragic flight."

Nolan feels that Newcastle's loyal fans are like a big football family and, after helping the club back on its feet and win-ning promotion to the Championship in 2010, he knows how high the passion runs on Tyneside. …

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