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Horror moment skydiver plunges 1,000ft to his death onto football pitch

THIS is the horror moment a skydiver plunged 1,00ft to his death at a high school football game in front of screaming spectators.

Richard Sheffield, 55, was taking part in a professional stunt before the match in Tennessee on Friday when it went horribly wrong.

Richard Sheffield, 55,  fell to his death after his pre-game skydiving stunt went wrong

Richard Sheffield, 55, fell to his death after his pre-game skydiving stunt went wrongCredit: Facebook
He had been performing with a group of paratroopers, Jump TN, when tragedy struck

He had been performing with a group of paratroopers, Jump TN, when tragedy struckCredit: WJHL
The crowd watched in horror as the dad tumbled through the sky

The crowd watched in horror as the dad tumbled through the skyCredit: WJHL

The experienced skydiver was performing with a group of paratroopers, known as Jump TN, at the David Crockett High School in Jonesborough.

They were tasked with wowing the crowd ahead of the Musket Bowl, an annual Washington County rivalry game between two schools.

But attendees instead witnessed the moment Richard hurtled uncontrollably before a “hard landing” on the field.

Chilling footage obtained by WJHL-TV showed the dad spinning through the sky as terrified onlookers are heard shrieking.

He seemingly failed to execute the planned stunt before crashing down into an area behind the packed stadium.

The 55-year-old was airlifted to hospital where he was sadly pronounced dead, according to The Daily Mail.

A moment of silence was held before the game, which was originally postponed, before kick-off.

Jump TN said there was nothing regarding Richard’s dive or parachute – which reportedly deployed without incident – that played a part in the tragedy.

They explained the dad-of-two had completed over had more than 1500 successful jumps.

The group said: “The deceased was a highly experienced jumper with decades of experience to their credit and a well-respected member of the skydiving community.

“The entire skydiving community is saddened by the sudden loss of a wonderful member of their community.”

Richard is survived by his wife of 38 years, Kim, and their two twin sons, Stacey and Casey. 

Grief-stricken Stacey, who also enjoys skydiving, paid tribute to his late father in a poignant Facebook post.

He wrote: “‘Today just doesn’t feel real, and the hardest day of my life.

“Yesterday we lost one of the most important people in our lives, my Dad. I’m so thankful for the relationship we had.

“We talked every single day, multiple times a day. Being able to skydive with your Dad is another level of cool. 

“One thing Dad loved the most was going fast, and that’s how he went out. 

“People look at what we do and say it’s crazy, and well, maybe it is, but Dad lived a full life, and he taught us to do the same.

‘UNTIL WE FLY AGAIN, DAD’ 

“He made an impact on everyone he met.”

Stacey described his dad as “country as hell” and joked that people loved to tease him for the way he spoke.

The post continued: “But man, if I could just hear it one more time.

“He was the best Dad, husband, and Pops there was. You may not have made it to 120 years like you always said, but you sure tried to get that out of 55. 

“Until we fly again, Dad. I love you. Blue Skies.”

Twin brother Casey explained that Richard had taught them both to skydive at the age of seven and “knew the risks” of the daring sport.

“We all did,” he said. “But he loved to go fast, and that’s ultimately how he went out. 

“We loved flying together and I’m thankful to have shared the sky with him.”

He said of his father’s passing: “To think I can’t just pick up the phone to call him doesn’t feel real.

“He was the first person I called when I needed help. He was the rock of our family. 

“He was the coolest, nicest, most bad ass dad around and we are so lucky to have the time with him that we did. 

“But one thing is for sure, he went out living, with NO REGRETS.” 

Spectators screamed in horror as they helplessly watched Richard spiral in the sky

Spectators screamed in horror as they helplessly watched Richard spiral in the skyCredit: WJHL
The 55-year-old was airlifted to hospital before he was tragically pronounced dead

The 55-year-old was airlifted to hospital before he was tragically pronounced deadCredit: WJHL