THE Foreign Office has confirmed tonight (Friday) that the body of John Alder, one of two Newcastle United fans killed in the crash of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, has been identified.

Mr Alder died alongside fellow fan Liam Sweeney and 296 others when the plane was shot down over Ukraine in July.

The pair had been travelling to New Zealand to watch a pre-season friendly.

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Experts from Holland travelled to retrieve the remains of those killed and it is understood Mr Alder's identity was confirmed earlier this week.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London told The Northern Echo: " We can confirm the positive identification of another British victim of flight MH17, John Alder.

"The family have been informed and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time. We continue to provide consular assistance to the family."

A garden of remembrance was opened today at St James' Park in honour of Mr Alder and Mr Sweeney.