The devastated families and friends of two footballers and a gym instructor who died in the Shoreham air disaster paid tribute to their loved ones today.

Worthing United goalkeeper Matt Grimstone, 23, and midfielder Jacob Schilt, 23, were among at least 11 people killed in yesterday's horrifying crash.

Emergency services attend the fatal scene where an historic Hawker Hunter fighter jet plane plummeted onto the major south coast road. Photo / AP
Emergency services attend the fatal scene where an historic Hawker Hunter fighter jet plane plummeted onto the major south coast road. Photo / AP

The teammates were on their way to play against Loxwood in the Southern Combination Football League when they were killed in West Sussex.

Relatives of personal trainer Matt Jones, 24, from Littlehampton revealed that he was on his way home from work with a friend on the A27 at the time.


The Hunter Hawker fighter jet - piloted by Andy Hill, who flies for British Airways - smashed into his BMW 3 Series Coupe in a ball of flames.

His mother Hazel described Mr Jones as an "absolute diamond" as it emerged that the pilot is fighting for his life in a critical condition.

Mr Grimstone's parents, Sue and Phil, and his two brothers, David and Paul, from Brighton, paid an emotional tribute to the footballer.

They said he was the "kindest person you could ever meet with a great wit," adding: "The family are in total shock at losing our dearest son Matthew.

"He has been taken from us at just 23 and we still think he is going to walk through the front door any minute now."

A woman lays flowers on the Shoreham Tollbridge that crosses the River Adur near the location where a Hawker Hunter fighter jet crashed on a busy road. Photo / AP
A woman lays flowers on the Shoreham Tollbridge that crosses the River Adur near the location where a Hawker Hunter fighter jet crashed on a busy road. Photo / AP

The family added: "In his 23 years we can honestly say he never lost his temper."

Mark Sanderson, Worthing United's secretary, broke down as he described "Grimbles' as 'a huge talent, quiet and reserved but a brilliant player."

He added: "Jacob was also 23 years of age, small in stature and a tenacious midfielder, also very skilful with an eye for goal."

Mr Sanderson said the two men played a key part in club's most successful campaign ever last season when it won the league and cup double.


He added: "At this point we don't know how or if we will cope with this. Worthing United is a family, part of the football family.

"We have been moved by the number of tributes to them that we have received from our fellow clubs and from the public."

Mr Grimstone had also worked at Brighton and Hove Albion football club for seven years.

He became an apprentice groundsman in 2013 and was given a full-time role after successfully completing his apprenticeship.

Most recently he worked for the grounds team at its Lancing training ground
He and Mr Schilt both played for an Albion supporters' team in a Robert Eaton Memorial Fund match against Crystal Palace at Lewes in April.

Brighton 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."

The club's chief executive Paul Barber added: "Matt's been a very popular member of our groundstaff 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 was 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."

Police said it was "highly likely" 11 people had died and warned other bodies could be found. A crane will arrive to lift the plane wreckage tomorrow.

The crash site, which stretches for 400 yards on to Shoreham Airfield, has been labelled as "hazardous" because of the amount of fuel still on the plane.

But officers said that there would be "no risk" to the public if they stayed behind the cordon.

Sussex Police also announced that the road is likely to be closed for several days while the recovery process continues.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry said the status of the jet's ejector seats was yet to be determined.

But he confirmed the pilot was pulled from the burning wreckage and remains in a critical condition.

At least 13 other "walking wounded" victims have been released from hospital.

The driver of a vintage wedding limousine, a motorcyclist and two cyclists are also feared dead. But police have said that emergency services are finding it difficult to identify victims due to the ferocity of the blast.

Motorcyclist Mark Trussler has been missing since yesterday's devastating crash and his girlfriend Giovanna Chirico has been appealing for information on Facebook.

There are also concerns about a group of spectators who were standing just metres away from where the historic plane crashed.

Specialist recovery teams have begun to remove bodies from the scene with "every possibility that other victims will be found" during the process, Sussex Police said.

Tributes have been pouring in for the victims from friends, team mates, family and loved ones after the historic jet smashed into lines of waiting traffic after failing to pull up from a loop-the-loop stunt.

Worthing United FC Chairman Steve Taylor said the club is absolutely "devastated" by the loss of two of their players and said the match on Saturday was cancelled.

He said: "All we can say is we have two players unaccounted for following the air crash but as yet no families have been informed. We are devastated to be honest."

A statement from the club said: "The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Worthing United football club are with those whose families and friends were killed in the air crash yesterday."

Team mate Dean Gilmour tweeted: "RIP Jacob Shilt and Matthew Grimstone. Two absolute gents, taken away from us so early in life you will never be forgotten!! Love you boys."

Tom Betts wrote: "Such sad news about the two Worthing players who sadly passed away during the plane incident yesterday. Thinking of families and team mates.

"Such a sad day for Sussex football too. Big minutes silence at all grounds this week I hope."

Jamie McKenzie, who plays for Worthing United FC reserve team, said both players will be remembered as "really nice down to earth guys."

He said: "It's devastating. We're just showing our respect through the club, we had been training with them through the club and they're really nice guys."

Naomi Cole, who plays for Millwall Lionesses, revealed that she grew up with Mr Schilt and said it has hit her "pretty close to home."