FAMILY members and former teammates gathered for a day of football to remember two young men who lost their lives in the Shoreham Airshow disaster.

Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schilt were both 23 and on their way to play for Worthing United when they were killed in August 2015.

Friends and loved ones held a minute of silence before kicking off a day of football at Sussex County Football Association headquarters in Lancing


Many knew Matt and Jacob personally – and even witnessed the disaster unfold before them.

Former Worthing United manager Nigel Geary had brought the young men to the club from Mile Oak, and said that everyone in the dressing room liked them for their commitment to the team.

He said: “If they were here today, they would both want to play all three matches.

“They loved football and today is the best way to remember them.

“Everyone got on with them and this has been a chance to come back and relive some of the memories.

“It has been an excellent day all round.”

Mr Geary said the airshow tragedy had a big impact on the team and the club, who found themselves at the centre of a worldwide media story.

The team had previously won the league and cup double but Mr Geary said that after the disaster many players decided to take stock of their lives.

A friends and family XI took on Mile Oak reserves in the first game.

Then there was a youth game between Mile Oak and Worthing United’s under 18s sides, followed by a game between the first XI for both clubs.

Worthing United vice-chairman Mark Sanderson has been involved with the club for more than 20 years.

He said: “Both Matt and Jacob were a massive part of the club, they become our boys. It was a massive tragedy. As a club we do all we can to support and remember them.”

Mr Sanderson said the club received support from Brighton and Hove Albion, including from chairman Tony Bloom, to help take the pressure off.

When the team did return to action after the disaster, more than 1,000 spectators turned up to cheer them on, when usually attendances are about 100 to 150.

Matthew worked for Brighton and Hove Albion at the club’s training ground and a special shirt signed by all the players in the Seagulls’ first Premier League season was auctioned.

Funds raised from the day were due to go to the Robert Eaton Memorial Fund, which helps needy children, including the disabled and impoverished, to play football.

Robert was an avid Albion fan who died in the Twin Towers disaster in 2001.

Jacob’s father Bob Schilt said: “I think days like today are really important, because they are all about football.

“These are the people that Matt and Jacob played with coming to pay them respect.

“Everyone who has come along really wants to play, and that is very touching.

“They were all friends with Matt and Jacob.”

The families thanked Worthing United and Mile Oak, Brighton and Hove Albion and Sussex County FA for their support.