Rugby community to celebrate Kiwi cop Matt Ratana one year on since his death

England’s rugby communities will celebrate the life of Kiwi-born Sergeant Matt (Matiu) Ratana this weekend, one year to the day he died in the line of duty.

NZ-born Sergeant Matt Ratana was weeks from retirement when he was killed in the UK.

East Grinstead Rugby Club in West Sussex, where Ratana was a head coach, is hosting a day of rugby matches, music and Māori culture.

There will also be pop-up beer gardens, bars and food stalls so everyone can remember the joy Ratana brought to the club.

"As always, the club is open to non-members, and we would love as many people as possible to join us in celebrating our Unsung Hero’s incredible legacy," President Andy Poole said.

In the early hours of September 25 last year, Sergeant Ratana died from a gunshot wound to the chest after he was shot by a handcuffed suspect at Croydon Custody Centre in south London.

Last week, 24-year-old Luis De Zoysa appeared in court charged with his murder. No plea was asked for or entered, and a further review hearing has been set for December 23.

After their colleague’s death, the Metropolitan Police said a full service memorial will be planned for when Covid-19 restrictions lift.

1News understands details of a full force funeral to honour the 54-year-old is to be announced in the coming days.