Barry Sweeney, a rocking football referee and the father of MH17 plane crash victim, Liam, died earlier today after a brief illness. Read on to learn how did Barry Sweeney die, what happened to him, and what was the cause of his death.
The 61-year-old referee was an ardent Newcastle United fan. He became a well-known face across Tyneside following the 2014 MH17 tragedy that claimed the life of 298 innocent folks. Tributes have emerged online for the late referee.
Who was Barry Sweeney?
Barry Sweeney was a 61-year-old football referee from Longbenton. He was also a passionate Newcastle United fan. However, he was best known in Tyneside for being the father of Liam Sweeney, who passed away in the MH17 plane crash in 2014.
Chief Executive of Northumberland FA, Andrew Rose-Cook, described Barry Sweeney as a ‘massive idol’ for numerous young referees. He went on to say that he was a brilliant example both on and off the pitch.
Barry was also a huge supporter of The Bradley Lowery Foundation. He traveled the country and provided his services as a referee for charity matches and never took anything in return.
How did Barry Sweeney die?
Famous Longbenton referee Barry Sweeney died on Saturday, August 05, 2023, six weeks after his cancer diagnosis. He was 61 at the time of his death. The avid Newcastle United fan was getting treatment for an unfortunate health condition.
The tragic news of Barry Sweeney’s death was announced by a local news outlet. The report called him a ‘rocking referee’ and a ‘top bloke on and off the field’.
The Newcastle United Times Facebook page also announced the death of Barry Sweeney to all the fans. The heartfelt post featured a picture of Barry along with upcoming stars.
What was the cause of Barry Sweeney’s death?
Barry Sweeney died of pancreatic cancer. He was diagnosed with the dreadful condition just over a month ago. It’s a condition in which cancer cells affect the pancreas and disturb its regular physiological functions.
Unfortunately, Barry passed away earlier today leaving his fans and friends devastated. He became a famous name in the Tyneside area after the MH17 plane crash tragedy.
What happened to Barry Sweeney?
Barry Sweeney died earlier today six weeks after his cancer diagnosis. He was the father of MH17 plane crash victim Liam, who was a 28-year-old Newcastle United fan. He was killed along with John Alder, 63, and 296 other passengers in the plane crash.
Liam and John Alder were traveling to New Zealand to watch the Magpies in a pre-season friendly when they were killed on board a Malaysia Airlines flight. The plane was shot down while traveling from Amsterdam to Malaysia on July 17, 2014.
In November 2022, Barry Sweeney traveled to the Netherlands to hear the verdict after four defendants stood trial at The Hague accused of murdering the plane passengers. The trial lasted for more than two-and-a-half years but none of the suspects attended court.
They didn’t answer the charges. The court convicted three people who were Russian defendants Igor Girkin and Sergey Dubinskiy, and Ukrainian defendant Leonid Kharchenko. A fourth defendant, Oleg Pulatov, was acquitted due to lack of evidence.
Our deepest condolences go to the fans, friends, and family members of Barry Sweeney. He would’ve been reunited with his son Liam up there now. May God let the two of them have moments of peace. RIP!