A huge Rugby fan, an inspirational man and a “ball of energy” with a “big infectious smile”. Those were some of the words to describe Sgt Matt Ratana at his funeral yesterday.
Sergeant Matt Ratana was shot dead by a suspect in handcuffs at Croydon Custody Centre in London on September 25th last. His funeral took place in Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex yesterday, attended by a limited number of family, friends and colleagues sue to current restrictions.
Aged 54, and a native of New Zealand, he began his career in the Met in 1991. He worked in New Zealand Police between 2003 to 2008 and sub subsequently policed from Croydon since 2015. He planned to retire early next year.
After the ceremony, former All Blacks captain Zinzan Brooke led the Haka outside the church, along with members of the London-based New Zealand culture group Ngati Ranana.
Matt’s partner, Su Bushby remembered and paid tribute to her beloved. She also remembered her partner’s “big, infectious smile”. For now I’m not going to say goodbye my darling, but see you one day. Matt, my partner, my friend, my confidante and my soulmate. You will always be in my heart and in my soul. I miss you. I love you.”
Sgt Ratana’s coffin was covered in the Metropolitan Police’ ceremonial drape, which is used for a death in service, and his police cap placed on top.
Following the funeral, London Police Commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick spoke fondly about her colleague and said: “Matt’s loss is something that so many people around the world, not least of course in the Met have felt so keenly. He was killed in a shocking senseless act. And we miss him dreadfully. The service was very sad but also had some lovely light moments where I think everybody learned something new about this remarkable man. He was so kind, so humane, so courageous, such a good friend, and such a brilliant, brilliant police officer.
On the Met’s social media channel, colleagues also shared their memories and thoughts about Sgt Ratana.
Inset: Sgt Matt Ratana