Flight MH17: Father of victim Liam Sweeney says ‘I don’t want my son lying where there’s no-one to cuddle him’

MH17: 'I don't want my son lying where there's no-one to cuddle him'
Liam Sweeney, 28, of Newcastle, a victim of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 (Picture: Tim Steward)

The father of a football supporter who died on the Malaysia Airlines flight hopes he is not lying somewhere with ‘nobody to give him a cuddle’.

Barry Sweeney, whose son Liam, 28, was travelling to New Zealand to see Newcastle United with fellow fan John Alder, 63, said he had stopped watching the news as it was too upsetting.

The 52-year-old, who cares for his terminally ill wife Lesley, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain his only hope was all the bodies got home.

‘I just want them to bring the 298 people who need to be brought home for this to close,’ he said.

‘I have seen a little bit of the news. I try to stop watching it only because it is upsetting – especially when you see body bags – but I’m hoping Liam is in one of those because I don’t want him to be lying there somewhere where there’s nobody there to give him a good cuddle.’

Mr Sweeney said his son’s mother and stepmother were ‘in bits’ and struggling to come to terms with what had happened.

Liam Sweeney's  family
Newcastle United fan Liam Sweeney’s family views tributes at St James Park (Picture: North News Pictures)
John Alder
John Alder, of Newcastle, who was travelling to New Zealand with Liam on MH17 (Picture: Tim Stewart)

‘I think I’m getting through it because I can talk to people,’ he added. ‘As long as I’m talking, I’m fine. When I stop, the tears come.’

Paying tribute to Liam, he said he was ‘one of those lads that nobody had a bad word to say about’.

He added: ‘He was a good lad – he was there if you wanted him to be there. If it had anything to do with Newcastle, it might have to come second – but that was Liam.’

Mr Sweeney spoke out as fury mounted over the treatment of those killed on flight MH17 after a dust cart was sent to recover bodies left rotting at the side of a road.

Another 27 were picked up by a rubbish truck before being taken to the Kharkiv train, which finally set off after four days at the site.

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21 July 2014

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