Brighton & Hove Albion will dedicate their upcoming Championship home game against Hull City to the victims of the Shoreham air crash.
The club is arranging a special pre-match pitch-side tribute, involving the families of footballers Matt Grimstone and Jacob Schilt – two young men killed in the disaster while on their way to play for Worthing United – Matt’s Albion colleagues, players from both clubs, representatives from Worthing United and members of the emergency services.
In a tribute on the club’s website, chairman Tony Bloom said: “Our community and the entire country has been in a state of shock since news of the tragedy started to emerge early on Saturday afternoon.
“It’s hard to comprehend the pain and anguish so many people are currently suffering, but it has been truly heartening to see how the community is rallying to provide support and comfort to those most affected and to each other.”
Albion chief executive Paul Barber added: “We have dedicated the match against Hull City to the memory of Matt and Jacob, and to all of the other victims of the disaster, so that our club, our supporters, and the wider community can collectively pay their respects. “We have invited the players, staff and directors of Worthing United, and we hope that those amongst the local football community and wider community will join us at the Amex to pay a fitting tribute to two fine young men, while also remembering those others who lost their lives.
“As a gesture of our sincere appreciation for the very difficult work they are still carrying out, many days after the crash, we are also inviting numerous representatives of the emergency services to join us.”
The Seagulls will also be making a donation, from match receipts and the proceeds from a special tribute programme, to a fund for the families of the victims.
Worthing United’s vice chairman and secretary Mark Sanderson said: “The loss of Matt and Jacob has deeply affected us and so many people in our community.
“We welcome the opportunity to join those at Brighton & Hove Albion, supported by so many of our own players, staff and fans, to remember the lives of Matt and Jacob.
“It should be a truly fitting occasion for two young men who loved their football to be remembered in such a wonderful arena filled with people from our wider community.”
On the day of the Hull game (Saturday, September 12), the families of both Jacob and Matt, members of the Robert Eaton Memorial Fund football squad, and hundreds of Albion supporters are expected to walk from the accident site at Shoreham to Worthing United’s ground to complete the journey that Matt and Jacob were making on the day they lost their lives.
The club will be laying on special buses to transport supporters back to the Amex in time for the match against Hull.
For more information, visit www.seagulls.co.uk
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