Tributes pour in for ‘rugby mad’ police officer, Matt Ratana, who was killed in London yesterday
Tributes have been pouring in for the Metropolitan police officer who lost his life in the line of duty yesterday.
The 54-year-old, New Zealand born officer was the head coach of Sussex rugby club, East Grinstead, it was revealed – with the club posting an emotional tribute to him yesterday.
Their statement read,
East Grinstead Rugby Football Club are utterly devastated to hear the tragic news that the Police Sergeant who lost his life in Croydon, was our Head Coach, Matt Ratana.
Matt was an inspiring and much-loved figure at the club and there are truly no words to describe how we are feeling.
We would like to take some time as a club and community to begin to comprehend what has happened.
Our deepest and sincerest condolences go to Matt’s loved ones, family, friends, colleagues and to our community rugby family at this most terrible time.
Bob Marsh, Chairman & Andy Poole, President
East Grinstead RFC
Ryan Morlen who is the assistant coach at East Grinstead said yesterday,
“He is a bloke who is just so passionate about what he does – it does not matter whether you’re the most talented or least talented, he will treat you equal. He was an absolutely lovely bloke.”
The wider rugby community has reacted to the passing of Sgt Ratana in the past 24 hours.
So desperately sad. Love and thoughts with Matt’s family. ❤️
— Will Greenwood (@WillGreenwood) September 26, 2020
This is awful. All my thoughts and prayers with Matt’s family and friends ❤️ https://t.co/rZbSL1QRLw
— Danny Care (@dannycare) September 25, 2020
Devastating news about Matt Ratana, the police and rugby family and loved ones have lost a great community leader and man RIP @RugbyEGRFC stay strong
— Terry Burwell (@26eltel) September 26, 2020
Having heard the tragic news today about Sgt Matt Ratana, the policeman who sadly lost his life in the line of duty today, the board and members of Edenbridge Rugby Club wanted to express our sympathy and condolences to his family and friends. @RugbyEGRFC
— Edenbridge RFC Official (@edenbridgerugby) September 25, 2020
RIP Sgt Matt Ratana, he spent his life trying to protect us as a Police Officer and he gave something back, in his own time as a rugby coach, like so many of my friends.
— Dom Palacio (@DomPalacio) September 25, 2020
Matt Ratana was originally from Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand before moving to the UK.
Yesterday, the countries Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, paid tribute to the fallen police officer by saying,”Sergeant Ratana worked in Auckland City and Counties Manukau until 2008, before returning to the UK. To all Matiu’s whanau (family) across the world, we share your sorrow and have all our condolences.”
Sgt Matt Ratana features in this video by East Grinstead rugby club