World record match to honour airshow crash duo

Jacob Schilt, a footballer for Worthing United and also a former student at the University of Portsmouth, who died in the Shoreham Airshow tragedy. PPP-150823-135015001
Jacob Schilt, a footballer for Worthing United and also a former student at the University of Portsmouth, who died in the Shoreham Airshow tragedy. PPP-150823-135015001
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More than 30 avid footballers are aiming to play the longest match in history to honour two victims of the Shoreham Airshow disaster.

Two teams will battle it out on the pitch at Lancing College in an attempt to break the current world record, which stands at four-and-a-half days.

Matty Burns, 27, will be taking part in the longest continuous game with his colleagues at Equiniti, which has offices in Worthing and Crawley. The big challenge was initially to be held in memory of former employee, Matt Chaplain, who tragically passed away in 2013 from a cardiac arrest.

Now, the event will also be in support of Matt Grimstone and Jacob Schilt, both 23, who were killed on the A27 last August when a vintage jet hit the A27.

The football fans were heavily involved with Worthing United.

Matty said all 36 participating players, including many from Worthing FC, are currently training for the enduring challenge, that is expected to last more than 100 hours.

He said: “I have been taking Wednesdays off as holiday to try and get as many miles of jogging in as I can and eat all the right stuff.

“We’re doing long games and hikes. We’re also going to do an overnight hike to get over all the sleep deprivation.”

Every player has been set the target to raise £500 each, which is required to cover the running costs alone.

“I’ve been trying to get fit and raise as much money as I can,” he said.

The fundraiser is the brainchild of project manager Michael Standing, who works at Equiniti’s Worthing office.

Michael, of Heartbeat FC has known Matt Chaplain since childhood, and thought the challenge would be an appropriate way to honour his friend, who was in the same scout group growing up.

In the lead up to the event, which is expected to take place in May, Matty said the players have met with families of the airshow victims.

He said: “We had a get together for a presentation in Worthing a few weeks ago and members of the family came along and we got to know each other.

“I needed a little bit of motivation to begin with and part of the reason was to get fit and be a world record holder, but first and foremost it’s for the families of the victims.”

It is hoped money raised by the event will go towards building a ‘practical memorial’ in the form of a training centre, or something of a similar nature, according to Matty.

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