It was only three weeks, but it felt an age. For me, a relative nobody in the grand scheme of the events of 22nd August, it has been a time of emotion and reflection, for the friends and family of the 11 souls lost, it must’ve seemed a lifetime.
The first home match since the Shoreham Airshow disaster was a time for everyone to pay their respects, celebrate lives cut tragically short, and begin to move on.
The club had requested a 2.30pm seat arrival in order for proceedings to begin. I have never seen the ground fill with such speed before. The screen tribute to Matt Grimstone and Jacob Schilt was perfect. The tone was correct, the timing spot on. My tears began to fall after about 20 seconds. Standing on my own, I felt daft, but looking at those around me, I was not alone.
From the stereotypical beer-swilling, well-built football fan to the dads with their young children all were shedding the same tears. Compelled by the intensity of feeling emanating from every stand around the stadium, the silence was loud. The British stiff upper lip had cracked.
A beautiful rendition of ‘Abide with me’ was sung, words on the big screen for participation…..it was too hard to do. Cards in the East Stand turned to create the much-maligned ‘together’ slogan that the club have used as their call to action this season, a slogan that couldn’t have been more apt.
Giant shirts, wreaths, candles, flowers, banners….. and Sussex by the Sea.
It was a moving time in our history, a time where the county, the people, the emergency services and the club have all pulled ‘together’. United in shock, grief and understanding. I hope that for the families and friends, they could take some small comfort in the collective consciousness of respect shown.
So.. for me who likes to write about happiness, where does that come into play in all this?
Maybe…’accept what is, let go of what was and have faith in what will be.’
Out of something so dark and devastating has come something so amazingly powerful and beautiful.
See Miracles In Life Everyday
Proud to be a Brit.
Proud to come from Sussex.
Proud to be part of the whole football family.
Proud to belong to Brighton and Hove Albion.
Dream BIG, sparkle MORE, shine BRIGHTLY