Memorial event to honour victims of airshow tragedy

Chairman Steve Taylor and sponsor Peter Saywell in front of the new stand. Picture: Derek Martin
Chairman Steve Taylor and sponsor Peter Saywell in front of the new stand. Picture: Derek Martin

“They were great guys and very good footballers – we were privileged to have them as part of the team.”

These are the words of Steve Taylor, chairman of Worthing United Football Club, ahead of an event to remember and honour Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schilt this Sunday (July 23), who lost their lives, aged just 23, in the Shoreham Airshow tragedy.

People are invited to come along and celebrate the footballers' lives. Picture: Derek Martin

People are invited to come along and celebrate the footballers' lives. Picture: Derek Martin

A memorial stand which bears the footballers’ names will be unveiled to the public at the club in Lyons Way, and people are invited to come along and celebrate their lives.

Steve, who has been chairman at the club for the past four seasons, said: “It will be a very emotional day. The boys have been my motivation since.

“They were best mates and lived for football. I have got to know their families so well. It is still very raw for them.

“After it happened, we got a lot of support financially and Sunday will be a chance to thank people. We are a small football club but we have a big heart.”

Matthew Grimstone (left) and Jacob Schilt lost their lives, aged just 23, in the Shoreham Airshow tragedy. Picture: Derek Martin

Matthew Grimstone (left) and Jacob Schilt lost their lives, aged just 23, in the Shoreham Airshow tragedy. Picture: Derek Martin

Four football matches will also take place to mark the occasion.

Steve said he wouldn’t have been able to do it without the help of sponsor Peter Saywell, whose business, Saywell International, is next door to the club.

Football enthusiast Peter said he ‘had to do something for the poor guys that lost their lives’.

Parents Phil and Sue Grimstone and Bob and Caroline Schilt said they were delighted about the stand.

“So much hard work and dedication has gone into the project with the committee working tirelessly,” they said.

“It would not have been possible without money raised through Heartbeat United, the generous backing of Peter Saywell and local firms. All of these we thank sincerely.

“Matt and Jacob had a fantastic time at Worthing Utd where they were part of the double-winning team during the 2014-15 season.

“It’s nice to think they will always be remembered as footballers, the game they loved so much.

“It will be an emotional yet enjoyable day on Sunday and we hope many supporters will come along.”

We ran a story about the event last week but incorrectly said it would be held at Worthing FC. Please accept our apologies for this.

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