02:24PM, Tuesday 29 September 2020
Burnham Junior FC have paid tribute to former coach Sergeant Matt Ratana with one-minute silences ahead of all of their matches.
New-Zealand born Sgt Ratana was shot dead on Friday, September 25 at Croydon Custody Centre.
Sgt Ratana served as a coach for an U9s side during the 2001/2002 season at the club, when his son was playing with the side.
At an U7s match on Sunday, Burnham Junior FC chairman Jeff Jaffery paid tribute to Sgt Ratana.
He said: “Matt was an extremely nice and caring man who believed in keeping fit and fair play.”
Speaking to the Advertiser, William Hern, press officer for the Thames Valley Football Development League (TVFDL), which runs football for children aged between six and 12, said: “From a league perspective we’re very sorry to hear of the passing of anyone involved in our league and giving up their time as a volunteer.
“This was someone who clearly would have been very busy with his police work and his other interests like rugby but was still finding the time to coach [an] U9’s side which is time consuming.”
Burnham Junior FC chairman Jeff Jaffery said: “We have fond memories of Matt.
“He was extremely friendly, nothing was too much effort and if another team needed help in anyway then he was the first one to volunteer.”
Sgt Ratana was involved with Taplow Cricket Club, ‘playing some games’ for the club in 1994 and 1995.
Taplow Cricket Club’s chairman, Andy Bond added: “The club is very sorry to hear that a former player has passed in such tragic circumstances.”
A fund in memory of Sgt Ratana has been set up by the Metropolitan Police Hayes Sports Club, known as The Warren, where Matt was a regular visitor.
Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/matt-ratana
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