On 30th May 2016, Heartbeat United broke the Guinness World Record for the longest marathon football match, playing for 108 hours and 2 minutes. It was in memory of three popular young men, all footballers in the West Sussex area.
They were Matt Chaplain, a county league footballer and respected club manager who passed away from a cardiac arrest aged just 38 on 15th April 2013; and Matt Grimstone and Jacob Schilt – both talented footballers who at just 23 years of age became victims of the Shoreham air tragedy, when an aircraft performing aerobatics crashed onto the A27 on 22nd August 2015.
On Sunday 23rd July, a memorial stand will be opened in memory of all three men, at Worthing United Football Club, Lyons Way, Worthing.
On this showpiece day, 3 matches will take place covering youth, ladies and mens football: at 10am, Worthing United Under 15’s will play Worthing Town Under 15’s; at 1pm Worthing United Ladies FC will play Women’s Premier League side Luton Town Ladies FC; and at 4pm, a Heartbeat United XI will play against a Worthing United XI. As well as the 4pm match, Heartbeat United will feature their influence on the other two games through management and coaching staff.
In excess of £30,000 was raised in breaking the World Record, and proceeds raised by the event split 50-50 between two causes in honour of these talented footballers: The British Heart Foundation fights against heart and circulatory disease, which is still the nation’s biggest single killer. It touches us all. Lives are cut short and for those living with the disease, life can be frightening and hard. The Shoreham tragedy took 11 people away from their loved ones on a bright, calm summer day, with no warning. Ripples of its effects hit the whole country.
Mike Standing, Heartbeat United manager, commented: “I’m delighted that all the hard work of those involved has helped produce this wonderful memorial. It’s a fantastic way to remember the lads, and its bespoke design means it can travel with the club if they need to relocate or increase the size of the stadium.”