Shoreham air crash: footballers pay tribute to tragic team-mates


Team-mates of two footballers killed in the Shoreham air disaster fought back tears today as they played their first match since the tragic deaths.

Worthing United players Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schilt, both 23, were on their way to a game when a Hawker Hunter jet ploughed into the A27 at Shoreham in West Sussex last month.

Tributes were paid to the pair at the club's FA Vase match against East Preston today, which was played in front of a sold-out 1,000-strong home crowd.

A minute's applause was held before the game, when some of the players appeared close to tears.

Fans were able to buy blue and white scarves featuring the names of the two players before the match, while their pictures featured on the front of the match day programme. The two players' names were also included in the team sheets alongside the letters RIP.

During the warm-up, players from both teams wore t-shirts paying tribute to Mr Grimstone and Mr Schilt. A wall of football shirts has also built up outside the ground in the days since the tragedy.

Speaking before the kick off, Worthing United boss Nigel Geary said the match would be "emotional" for all those involved with the club.

He told BBC Radio Five Live: "They just loved playing. Both of them dedicated their lives to playing. They were the two nicest of lads. It's hit the squad extremely hard."

Mr Grimstone, a goalkeeper for Worthing United, had worked as a groundsman at Brighton & Hove Albion football club for seven years.

Following his death, his parents Sue and Phil and brothers David and Paul called him the "kindest person you could ever meet".

They said: "The family are in total shock at losing our dearest son Matthew so tragically at 23 years old."

Meanwhile Mr Schilt, who played in midfield, was described by his manager as "very tenacious" and who held his own against players twice his size.

Eleven people died in the crash when the vintage plane plummeted to the ground during the Shoreham Airshow on August 22.

The pilot, Andrew Hill, was left fighting for his life and has been moved to a specialist hospital for treatment.