On hearing about the disaster and loss of the two Newcastle United supporters, Sunderland fan Gary Ferguson (from South Shields) began a collection to raise £100 for floral tributes to the pair.
Incredibly, at the time of writing, the total raised is over £23,000 (10am Monday) with generous donations from fans of Sunderland, Newcastle United and other clubs.
After talking to John and Liam’s families, the additional money will be given to two charities – the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Commenting on behalf of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Lady Elsie says: “Like everyone, I was shocked and upset when I heard about flight MH17 and the awful loss of life.
“I can’t begin to understand what John and Liam’s family and friends are going through. It’s so hard to comprehend something as terrible as this.
“You often see the best of people in the worst of times and that’s certainly true of the Sunderland fans who organised this collection in tribute to John and Liam. They, and everyone who has donated to it, are a credit to football and to the North East.
“It’s a very thoughtful way to pay tribute to two men who obviously loved the game so much.”
To make a donation to this tribute fund, or view messages of support, please visit: http://www.gofundme.com/brx6wk.
Sir Bobby launched his Foundation in 2008. It funds projects, including the clinical trials of new drugs, that directly benefit patients from across the North East and Cumbria and which contribute significantly to international research into cancer.
For more information, please visit www.sirbobbyrobsonfoundation.org.uk.