Brighton and Hove Albion have issued a statement confirming their belief that club employee Matt Grimstone and his Worthing United teammate Jack Schilt have passed away in the Shoreham air crash on Saturday.
Both men were driving on the A27 to represent their amateur side in a Combination Premier Division match away against Loxwood at Lyons Way.
Grimstone, 23, was a member of the club’s ground staff at Brighton’s training facility, and had worked for the club for the last seven years. He began at the club as part of the matchday event team.
The amateur goalkeeper was given a full-time job with the grounds team after passing his apprenticeship.
Schilt, also 23, was a Brighton fan, and was also a member of the Mavericks team set to contest their Saturday-afternoon fixture.
Speaking to the club’s official website, coach Chris Hughton had the following to say about the tragic incident: “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.”
Club chairman Tony Bloom echoed the manager’s statement, paying his own tribute to the pair: “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.”
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According to the BBC, eleven people are understood to have died in the tragedy, in which a plane taking part in an air show crashed onto a main road in West Sussex.
A further 14 people have been injured, with pilot Andy Hill currently in a critical condition in hospital.