MH17 victims: Students, Newcastle United fans and former BBC journalist among Malaysia Airlines passengers killed in crash

A nun and three young Australian children were among those killed

Two students, a former BBC journalist and two Newcastle United fans are believed to be among the 10 British passengers on board Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.

Tragic stories have been emerging of people who boarded the doomed flight, including an entire Indonesian family, a nun and three young children flying home with their grandfather.

All 298 passengers and crew died when the Boeing 777-200 crashed in eastern Ukraine after apparently being shot down as it passed over the war-torn country on Thursday.

Tributes on social media have been pouring in for Richard Mayne, a Leeds University student who took the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on his way to Australia.

The 20-year-old was in his second year studying maths and finance at the university and had previously studied at The Dixie Grammar School in Market Bosworth in Leicestershire, where it is believed he was originally from.

John Wood, Mr Mayne's former headteacher, confirmed his death and said everyone at the school was "devastated" by the loss of the former Deputy Head Boy.

"Richard was an extremely pleasant and thoughtful young man who gave his time generously for everyone," he added.

"Richard had a great thirst for life and he wanted to make the world a better place.  It is tragic that his life has been cut short, especially under these circumstances - he had such a great future ahead of him.

"The thoughts of all of us at The Dixie Grammar School are with Richard's family and friends at this most difficult time; he will be sorely missed."

Richard Mayne in April 2014 volunteering for a children's charity in Nepal Richard Mayne in April 2014 volunteering for a children's charity in Nepal (Facebook) Links on Mr Mayne’s profile showed that he had raised more than £1,000 for a children’s charity climbing to the Everest Base Camp in March and was an avid rugby player.

Writing on Facebook, one friend said: “Words fail me, why do the worst possible things happen to the nicest most kind caring people. Richard Mayne you re an inspiration and will be much loved forever and always xx”

Another wrote:  “Richard was a fantastic, friendly, inspirational and very much loved student at The Dixie, words cannot express my sadness.

“The world is missing a very special young man, my thoughts go out to his family and all who will miss him so much.”

Read more: Malaysia calls for independent MH17 investigation
BRITISH FAMILY TURNED AWAY FROM MH17
UP TO 100 AIDS RESEARCHERS ON BOARD

Another student, Ben Pocock, was also heading to Australia on the plane to begin a professional placement and study at the University of Western Australia.

A spokesman at Loughborough University said Mr Pocock, from Bristol, had just completed the second year of his international business degree and was an "excellent student" on course for a first.

“He was also a fine athlete, who played on the university athletic union's Ultimate Frisbee team and won their Player of the Year honour,” she added.

“We are in contact with Ben's family and are offering them all the support we can. We are also providing support for the university's staff and students.

“Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Ben's family and friends, and with all those who have lost family and friends in the crash.”

Glenn Thomas, 49, was a media officer at the World Health Organisation (WHO) and was on his way to Australia with a delegation of scientists and activists attending an international Aids conference in Melbourne.

Fadela Chaib, a fellow WHO spokesman said: “I can confirm [Mr Thomas] was on the flight travelling to Australia to attend the Aids conference in Australia.

"For the time being we would like to give his family time to grieve. We have lost a wonderful person and a great professional. Our hearts are broken. We are all in shock."

Mr Thomas, a former BBC journalist, was reportedly from Blackpool and had recently celebrated his birthday.

On Twitter, Timothy O'Leary, a communications team leader at the WHO's Western Pacific office, wrote: "I grieve for my friend and former WHO colleague Glenn Thomas who died in the missile attack on MH17 over Ukraine."

A handout by the United Nations dated 07 May 2013 and made avaiable on 18 July 2014 shows World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson Glenn Thomas World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson Glenn Thomas died in the MH17 crash BBC TV news editor Rachel Kennedy wrote: "Horrified to discover lovely Glenn Thomas on MH17. Always a smiling face, will be hugely missed."

Two Newcastle United fans travelling to see their team play in New Zealand were also feared to be among the victims of the tragedy.

The fans' website NUFC.com reported that John Alder, in his 60s, and Liam Sweeney, 28,  planned to watch their team play in a pre-season tour.

A tribute on the website said: "Both were well known to away followers, particularly John, whose usual match day attire led to the affectionate nickname of 'The Undertaker'.

Video: Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash

“Both were in attendance at Oldham on Tuesday, doing what they loved. Our thoughts are with their friends, families and the many fans who knew them by sight.

"Watching Newcastle will never be the same again."

There has been no official confirmation that the men were among the British passengers on board.

Malaysia Airlines released a list of passengers’ nationalities, including 189 Dutch, 27 Australians, 12 from Indonesians, 10 Britons, four Belgians, four Germans, three Filipinos, one Canadian and one from New Zealander.

Few names have so far been confirmed but Malaysian media released what appears to be a list with details of the 15 Malaysian crew members.

The eight women and seven men were aged between 26 and 53.

Sanjid Singh, an air steward, was only on the doomed jet because he agreed to a rota swap, the Malaysian Insider reported.

The paper said that in a "bizarre twist of fate" Mr Singh's wife, also an air steward, escaped death on flight MH370 131 days ago because she too organised a shift change.

"We are heartbroken because he was our only son. What to do? What has happened, has happened," his father, Jijar Singh, said.

A nun from Sydney, Sister Philomene Tiernan, was also on the flight on her way home from a holiday in France.

She had worked for 30 years as a teacher and director of an exclusive Catholic school in Sydney, Kincoppal-Rose Bay.

"I feel like since we are all away from our parents she seemed like a grandma that everyone just loved," a year 10 student told the Australian Associated Press.

Names of some of the 80 children on board have been released, including three young siblings from Perth in Australia.

Mo, Evie and Otis Maslin, aged 12, 10 and 8, were seen off by their parents in Amsterdam before boarding the flight with their grandfather, Melbourne's Herald Sun reported.

Additional reporting by PA

Read more: Pro Russian separatists 'discuss shooting plane down'
UKRAINE REBELS DENY 'SHOOTING DOWN' JET
UKRAINE TO LAUNCH INVESTIGATION INTO CRASH
Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
O'Toole as Cornelius Gallus in ‘Katherine of Alexandria’
filmSadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Life and Style
fashion
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior DBA (SQL Server, T-SQL, SSIS, SSAS) London - Finance

£30000 - £33000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior DBA (SQ...

Business Anaylst

£60000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Business Anal...

Senior Project Manager

£60000 - £90000 per annum + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Global leading Energy Tra...

Associate CXL Consultant

£40000 - £60000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: CXL, Triple Po...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment