Southern Combination League manager calls for all matches to be postponed

Oakwood FC V Worthing United 23-8-14  (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140826-123943002
Oakwood FC V Worthing United 23-8-14 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140826-123943002
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Oakwood manager Mark Gilbert would like to see this weekend’s Southern Combination League programme called off as a measure of solidarity for Worthing United.

The south coast club lost two players, Matt Grimstone and Jacob Schilt, who died in the Shoreham Airshow crash on Saturday on the way to their match at Loxwood.

In Sussex we’re a footballing family community and this would be a good way to show our support to Worthing United and the families who lost their sons.”

Oakwood manager Mark Gilbert

Although he did not know them personalliy, he paid tribute to the club who had beaten them twice last season.

Gilbert said: “The league is asking all teams to hold a minute’s silence in memory of the two Worthing United footballers.

“But I don’t think that goes far enough - I think the game itself (Oakwood v Saldean United) should be called off.

“The whole programme should be off. All our lads were shocked to hear what had happened.

“Tragedies do happen but how awful it must be for the families of those who died.

“In Sussex we’re a footballing family community and this would be a good way to show our support to Worthing United and the families who lost their sons.

“We played them twice last year and they beat us twice: 3-0 at home and 3-1 away - they won the Division 2 Cup and they won the league.

“We went there and like all clubs in our league they were very hospitable.

“Worthing aren’t playing this weekend but cancelling all the matches would be a poignant statement, it’s so tragic.

“It would be good for the families. I don’t think (a minute’s silence) is enough.

“How do you go about coming back without players who were ever-present from last year?

“I’ve been to a couple of funerals recently and it brings it home to you. I always tell my boys to drive carefully!”

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