Sunderland’s Split Festival has announced that, from today, they will donate £5 from all advance tickets purchased to the fund set up in memory of Liam Sweeney and John Alder, the two Newcastle fans who tragically lost their lives in the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 air disaster.
The fund was created by Sunderland fan Gary Ferguson with the intention of raising £100 for a floral tribute in memory of the two football fans. It has since surpassed £30,000 and has united people from all areas of the North East. At the request of the families, the final total will be split between two cancer charities – the Marie Curie Hospice and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
Split Festival would love to see that figure rise even higher and therefore have taken the decision of making a donation from each ticket bought from today in advance of the event on the weekend of August 9 and 10.
Split Festival organiser, Martyn McFadden, said: “It’s a tragedy that these lads have lost their lives in such circumstances.
“However, it’s a real testament to the strength and unity of our region that fans from Sunderland and Newcastle have come together and the money raised in their name will be a significant help to others.”
McFadden, who is also the editor of Sunderland AFC fanzine A Love Supreme, added: “There will always be a healthy rivalry between Sunderland AFC and Newcastle United, but when tragedies like this occur we pull together and put bragging rights aside.
“It is a fantastic gesture from Sunderland fans to set up the fund, but both sets of supporters have done themselves proud in the compassion they have shown.”
Split Festival will take place on the weekend of August 9 and 10 and will feature acts such as Dizzee Rascal, Maximo Park, The Cribs, Ocean Colour Scene Acoustic and many more. Tickets are priced at £30 per day or £50 for the weekend, with under 11s entering for free with a paying adult.
For further information please visit www.splitfestival.com.