IT wasn’t just people in football that were stunned and saddened by Connor’s death (see elsewhere on this website for a story on football’s response to the tragedy).
Within minutes of the tragic news being broken on Sunday, hundreds of messages began to be left by people far and wide on Twitter, using the hashtag #CS26 to share their memories of Connor with fellow mourners.
Peacehaven & Telscombe FC itself was itself the first to leave a message on Twitter, on Sunday afternoon, saying simply: “RIP #CS26 I have no words at the moment we all loved you mate.”
That prompted tributes to be posted on the club website: Paul Hubbard wrote: “I am so sad to see such a sad thing happen to such a nice family.
“I will be praying for you all tonight.”
And Cllr Geoff Wells and Sally Wells of Woodingdean added: “A very sad time for all. Our sincerest condolences to Connor’s family and friends for such a huge loss of a talented young man.”
And the tributes to the popular 19-year-old poured in via social networks such as Twitter.
Connor’s older brother, Callum, tweeted on Monday: “Thank u all for ur kind words, I lost my baby brother, my best friend, my everythin. I will never be the same, ur my hero baby boy.”
And about an hour later, Connor’s older brother then posted an extremely poignant image of the pair of siblings holding hands while the stricken teenager lay in his hospital bed. Callum’s words to accompany the picture were: Me and My Hero as he fights. I’ll never let u go, U were just too special to keep!”
That posting prompted an emotional response from people who viewed the photograph.
One Ebony Rae (@EbonyRae_x) replied: “Broke down in tears seeing the photo of Callum holding his hand! Your in a better place now Connor.”
Friends, colleagues, and perhaps even people who never knew Connor, took to Twitter to share their grief.
Charlie Walker (@charliewalker14) tweeted: “Meant to be at work right now with connor saunders! Still can’t believe he’s been taken!”
Tim Ridgway said: “Such a mixed day. Triumph of #brighton marathon vs tragedy of connor saunders.”
Rebekah Crampton (@Rebekah_Coconut) said: “R.I.P. Connor Saunders :( you didn’t deserve it xxx.”
Craig Peters (@OspreyPR) said: “Totally shocked at the tragic news of Connor Saunders. Thoughts go out to his family.friends and all at Peacehaven FC. Such a waste.”
Lewis Gravenor (@lgravenor) said: “Rest in peace. Such sad, disgusting news. This should not have happened.”
Elly Brown (@ellymaebrown) added: “Always happens to the wrong people.”
On the Nomad Online website, a poster called themselves milo6 wrote: “Still can’t believe this has happened... such a lovely family and such a lovely young lad... my family are devastated at this news as he was loved by all of us.
“RIP Connor you will be missed by many... such a sad sad day. Thoughts with the Saunders family at this time.”
Back on Twitter, Mark Fellows (@rumbomaf) said: “Thoughts and prayers with the family and friends.”
And Dan Wall (@Dwall25) posted simply: “Still doesn’t feel real... I’ll never forget.”
The suddenness of Connor’s tragic passing was summed up by another tweet from the club itself, sent late on Sunday. It showed a picture of the teenage footballer (left), saying: “We had some photos taken yesterday, this was for next season. I just can’t believe this has happened.”
Callum posted again on Monday afternoon in response to the many tweets that were still pouring onto the social network. He said: “I can’t thank u all enough for the support ur showing me, my fam and our taken angel! I’m in his bed reading him all ur tweets.”