Matt Ratana: Memorial unveiled for officer killed in line of duty

·2-min read
 (Lloyd Burr/Twitter)
(Lloyd Burr/Twitter)

A memorial has been unveiled at West Sussex rugby club to pay tribute to a police officer shot in the line of duty.

Matt Ratana was shot by a suspect in Croydon Custody Centre in south London on Friday, September 25, 2020.

A memorial silhouette of the 54-year-old was unveiled by his family on Saturday and looks out over the pitches at East Grinstead Rugby Club, where he was a coach.

Unveiling the memorial at a private event, his partner Su Bushby said: "We are here to celebrate Matt’s life and achievements.

"Since his death I have been overwhelmed by the respect and kindness from colleagues and players at all levels.

"Matt was a role model, a mentor, a friend, my partner," she said.

"He was so proud of everyone, and I mean everyone.

 (Lloyd Burr/Twitter)
(Lloyd Burr/Twitter)

"[Matt] was thoughtful and funny and he always made sure I was ok.

"He was a very special man."

Many took to social media to also pay tribute to Sgt Ratana.

“A real honour to be invited to the unveiling of the #mattratana memorial today,” one commentator wrote.

“The big fella will be looking over his club always. Very proud to be involved.”

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Another tweeted: “Matt would stand here to get an overview of the field during a match. Both proud of and gutted by this memorial.”

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Sgt Ratana was born in New Zealand and lived in Goring-by-Sea, West Sussex.

Earlier this week, Louis de Zoysa was charged with his murder.

Mr De Zoysa, from Banstead, Surrey, will continue to be held in custody.

He faces charges of murder, possession of a firearm, and possession of ammunition, and has not entered any pleas.

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