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Newcastle United players were greeted by a kapa haka group after arriving at Dunedin International Airport this afternoon.
Dozens of supporters were rewarded with autographs from their footballing heroes, including one fan who got a Newcastle jersey signed which he planned to donate to the family of Rob Ayley (29) from Otaki, who died on the ill-fated MH17 flight.
Team management said they would talk about the death of two of fans, John Alder (60) and Liam Sweeney (29), who were also on the Malaysian Airlines flight, at a press conference tomorrow.
The pair were on their way to watch the Premier League side play Sydney FC at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin on Tuesday night.