Sgt Matt Ratana has been posthumously named winner of BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year 2020, ‘Unsung Hero’ Award.
Metropolitan Police Sergeant Ratana, was killed on duty in Croydon, South London, on 25th September 2020 after he went to check on the welfare of a male who had been arrested.
At the time of his death, the hugely popular 54-year-old was Head Coach of East Grinstead Rugby Club, who nominated him for the award.
In November, Matt was announced the winner of the South East Regional Unsung Hero and then chosen, from 14 other finalists, to be honoured with the posthumous national trophy.
The trophy was presented to Matt’s partner Su Bushby.
Su said: “Matt was my rock and had a heart of gold. I am so honoured to accept this incredible award on his behalf to celebrate his life and the people he helped. He has touched the hearts of so many.
“We are all so proud of him and he is and always will be my hero. I want to personally thank the Matt Ratana Rugby Foundation for continuing to carry out Matt’s legacy.”
Andy Poole, President of East Grinstead RFC, said:
“Matt represented the absolute best in our sport and in life.
“His dedication and devotion to community rugby and his tremendous support to players both on and off the pitch has been recognised at the highest level. He will be hugely missed by so many.
Judges for the Unsung Hero award were told how New Zealand-born Ratana would always arrive early before training and would deliver a meticulously planned session, before heading to work for a night shift with the police.
Player testaments told how Sgt Ratana “created a culture of believing in yourself”, “thrived on giving his time and energy to others” and had a “positive impact on so many lives”.
A spokesperson for The Matt Ratana Rugby Foundation said:
‘We are so proud that Matt received this accolade, and his partner Su for being at the studio to accept the award.
‘Thank you to Andy Poole for representing the foundation.
‘From everyone on this page all over the world thank you for your support let’s keep Matt’s legacy going’.
Find out more about the Matt Ratana Rugby Foundation.
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