Barry Sweeney death: ‘The rocking ref’, Football referee passed away after a brief illness

Barry Sweeney cause of death. (Source: Facebook)
Barry Sweeney cause of death. (Source: Facebook)


We announce the demise of renowned local football referee Barry Sweeney, also known as “The Rocking Ref,” with heavy hearts and a profound feeling of loss. Barry’s influence was felt not just on the field but also in everyone’s hearts because he devoted his time and efforts to advancing the causes of charity. Keep reading to know more about Barry Sweeney and his cause of death in detail.


Who was Barry Sweeney?

Barry Sweeney was a qualified local referee, a devoted supporter of Newcastle United, and a team member for The Northern Football Alliance.

Barry Sweeney was well-known as the father of MH17 victim Liam Sweeney. To watch the Magpies play in a preseason friendly, Barry Sweeney’s son Liam, 28, and fellow supporter John Alder, 63, were travelling to New Zealand.

When Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was attacked on July 17, 2014, as it was en route from Amsterdam to Malaysia, the two were killed along with the other 296 passengers on board.

In March 2020, four defendants who were accused of committing multiple murders went on trial in The Hague, Netherlands. None of the suspects appeared in court to defend themselves during the lengthy, more than two-and-a-half-year trial.

Barry Sweeney died. (Source: Facebook)
Barry Sweeney died. (Source: Facebook)


All 298 passengers on the MH17 aeroplane were murdered, and three people were found guilty and given life sentences. They were Leonid Kharchenko, a Ukrainian defendant, and the Russian defendants Igor Girkin and Sergey Dubinskiy.

Oleg Pulatov, a fourth defendant, was exonerated for lack of evidence. In a video that was played in court, the Russian, who was being defended by attorneys, swore he was innocent.


How did Barry Sweeney die?

Football referee Barry Sweeney, renowned as “The Rocking Ref,” passed away suddenly.

Barry Sweeney was a well-known and respected match official in the North East, and the news of his passing grieved everyone associated with Newcastle West End FC and Rutherford AFC Lobley Hill.

Rutherford AFC Lobley Hill wrote on Facebook: “Really sad news this morning to hear of the passing of the ‘rocking ref’ Barry Sweeney!! Barry was a top guy, one of the nicest souls you could meet and has been linked to the club for many many years!! A really sad day for the footballing world!! RIP Barry 🪽⚽️❤️🖤

Newcastle West End FC wrote: ” Everyone involved with Newcastle West End FC are saddened to hear of the sad passing of Barry Sweeney a well known and respected match official in the North East. Barry always brought a fun energetic approach to football and was very well liked by everyone. Our thoughts are with Barry’s extended family, friends and colleagues at this sad time. #TheRockingRef❤️

The Northern Football Alliance also mourns with the rest of the footballing world, his friends, and family on this tragic day as they learn of TheRockinRef Barry Sweeney’s passing.

The Northern Football Alliance wrote: “The Northern Football Alliance joins the rest of the footballing community, friends, and family, on this sad day as we learn of the passing of the legend that is #TheRockinRef #BarrySweeney. Barry, you were a one off, nobody had a bad word, on or off the field, to say of you, and we send all our love and condolences to your family and loved ones at this sad time. NB – member clubs, in honour and memory of Barry, will have a minutes silence ahead of the upcoming league games on Wednesday night. RIP BARRY SWEENEY.”

Anyone who knows Barry will attest to his great character and skill as a referee. All those who had the privilege of knowing Barry will sense the void his passing leaves behind.

He was not just a prominent figure in his community, but he was also essential to the growth of the organization, providing his unwavering support in a number of ways.

Barry has a remarkable dedication to his mission. He freely gave his time and talent over the years, not just by impartially and honestly calling games but also by getting involved in charity events.

May the countless memories of his generosity and the inspiring influence he had on those around him offer them solace. Barry’s legacy will live on because of the people he impacted and the difference he made in neighborhood. He’ll be terribly missed.


Barry Sweeney cause of death

We regret to inform you that Barry Sweeney lost his battle with illness and passed away.

Barry was more than simply a referee to everyone; he was a friend, a supporter, and a crucial member of our charity’s family. His pleasant grin, welcoming demeanour, and enthusiasm for the game were inspiring. He possessed a remarkable capacity for fostering camaraderie and bringing people together, which brightened the lives of everyone he came into contact with.

We send Barry’s family and friends our sincere condolences as we all mourn his passing. All those who had the honour of knowing him will feel a great void in their lives as a result of his passing. Let’s not forget the innumerable games he officiated, the laughs he offered, and the beneficial impact he had on the goals of our charity.

As we all work to uphold the commitment, kindness, and sense of community that Barry Sweeney exemplified, Barry Sweeney’s legacy will never die.


Tributes to Barry Sweeney

Many people expressed their profound sympathies to his family and expressed how much they loved him. The news of this occurrence has upset his supporters and fans.

Neil Dickinson wrote: “Absolutely gutted to hear the news that good friend Barry Sweeney , has passed away, easily one of the most genuine, loving blokes I’ve ever had the pleasure to have met, RIP mate 💙⚽

Chris Waugh wrote: “Saddened to hear about the loss of a legend. The football community has lost one of the greatest grassroots referees. It’s been a pleasure to work alongside you and also share the pitch with you. All round top bloke and someone who supported me through a tough time officiating. RIP Barry Sweeney The Rocking ref.”

One of the worst things anyone can go through in life is losing a loved one. Any journey must have a destination at the end. The person’s time on earth has regrettably come to an end now that they have died. We wish him eternal peace and send our thoughts and prayers to his loved ones, family, friends.

Kindly use the comment box below to honor the death of Barry Sweeney by leaving a tribute.


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