Brighton & Hove Albion FC groundsman involved in Shoreham air crash

Brighton & Hove Albion employee Matt Grimstone and Seagulls supporter Jacob Schilt were both victims of the tragic Shoreham air crash last weekend. 

As a mark of respect, the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) is encouraging groundsmen across the country to wear black armbands while completing their pitch work at this weekend's football fixtures.

 If you want to donate to the official fund for all Shoreham air disaster victims, set up by the Sussex Community Foundation, on behalf of Adur District Council, West Sussex County Council and Worthing Borough Council go to www.justgiving.com/sussexgiving or text SAIR10 plus the amount you want to donate to 70070.

Matt, a member of the club's ground staff at the club's training facility in Lancing, a keen amateur footballer and talented goalkeeper, was on his way to play for Worthing United against Loxwood in the Southern Combination Premier Division at Lyons Way, along with his Mavericks teammate Jacob. 
  
The vehicle in which the pair were travelling to the match was hit by the aircraft which crashed on the A27 at Shoreham during the airshow. 

 A former Varndean student, Matt, 23, has worked at the club for the past seven years - starting with the Albion as part of the matchday event team at Withdean. 
  
He became an apprentice groundsman in 2013, and was given a full-time role with the grounds team having successfully completed his apprenticeship. 
 
Jacob, who alongside Matt was part of Worthing United's Sussex County League Division Two championship-winning side last season, also played for an Albion supporters' team in this year's Robert Eaton Memorial Fund match against Crystal Palace at Lewes in April.   

Club chairman Tony Bloom commented: "The thoughts and prayers of everybody at the club are with Matt and Jacob's family and friends at this shocking time. Our thoughts are also with all the people who have lost loved ones in this horrendous accident." 
  
Albion manager Chris Hughton said, "We are all shocked and deeply saddened by this news. Matt has been part of a great team we have at the club, and our thoughts go out to his and Jacob's families at this devastating time." 

Chief executive Paul Barber added, "Matt's been a very popular member of our ground staff team and has proved to be an absolute credit to the club and his boss Steve Winterburn.   
  
"I also got to know Jacob as one of the REMF squad, during the coaching sessions we held leading up to this year's charity match against Crystal Palace. As well as being a very good footballer, Jacob is a popular and impressive young man. 

"It is hard to the find the right words to express the full extent of our shock and sadness at this time, but Matt and Jacob's family and friends are very much in our thoughts - along with all those who've been affected by this terrible tragedy."

The IOG sends its condolences to the family and friends of Matt Grimstone and Jacob Schilt. IOG CEO Geoff Webb said: "Matt had a bright future in the industry and our thoughts and prayers go to his family following this tragic event." 
 

Part of this story was published on www.Seagulls.co.uk, 23 August 2015, written by Tony Bloom