Robert died in the World Trade Center attack in New York on the 11th September 2001.
Robert, a former St Paul's Cathedral chorister, was working near the top of the North Tower for Cantor Fitzgerald. He was married to an American, Jacqui, in a ceremony in New York.
Although Robert lived and worked in America he remained an enthusiastic Brighton & Hove Albion supporter and regularly visited their fans' message board under the nickname of 'Ricky Marlowe's Hairpiece'. A minute's silence was held before the game on 18 September and a tribute was printed in the match programme.
Our deepest sympathy again goes to his wife, family and friends on this sad anniversary.
Update from the ROBERT EATON MEMORIAL FUND website:
Robert Eaton was an avid Brighton & Hove Albion fan and was a regular contributor to the legendary fans’ discussion forum, North Stand Chat and the internet chat room.. Despite living and working in New York, Robert Eaton’s support for the Albion remained as strong as ever and, through the internet he was a friend to many. On the 11th September 2001, he was working on the 105th floor of the World Trade Center and it was with great sadness that the news of his death reached his fellow Albion supporters. They were determined that Rob’s name would live on through the game he loved and the idea of holding a charity football match - with the proceeds going to provide support for a “football academy” in New York City - was met with unanimous support. An organising group was very quickly formed and plans were made to hold the first Robert Eaton Memorial Match. Supporters of Brighton’s arch rivals, Crystal Palace, very quickly offered their services as opposition and the match was played in November 2001.
In the weeks leading up to the match, REMF received some very generous donations of football memorabilia and other prizes which were auctioned online to raise money for the fund - raising several thousand pounds. With additional donations, the fund soon rose to over £30,000 and a year of hard work got underway immediately after the match. The Robert Eaton Memorial Fund was registered as a charity in the UK whilst in New York, fellow Albion supporters, Steve McMahon and Paul Neal worked on REMF’s behalf looking for a suitable team to support. The team chosen, Los Peladitos come from a Hispanic neighbourhood in the Borough of Queens, New York and REMF have been able to provide them with a 2-season package of funding for kit and other essential equipment.
The second season’s funding for Los Peladitos has now been committed and REMF has also embarked on a funding package for football teams in the Brighton and Croydon areas. Two youth teams in the Brighton area, King George United and Fishersgate Community Association, have now been awarded grants for kit and equipment by REMF and a further fund-raising tranche is planned for next season.
We have been honoured to work with Robert’s family and the support and guidance we’ve received from the Eatons has been inspirational. The Robert Eaton Memorial Fund now raises money through a variety of events including the annual football game against Crystal Palace. Any support we receive allows us to continue our aim of supporting football for disadvantaged young people in a way that reflects the local and international links that Robert had with the game.