Croydon police shooting: East Grinstead Rugby Club pay tribute to head coach Matt Ratana
A Sussex rugby club have paid tribute to their head coach Matt Ratana.
The Police Sergeant was shot dead by a man who was being detained at Croydon Custody Centre in the early hours of this morning.
Ratana, a New Zealander, who is also a former rugby player, had worked for the Metropolitan Police for nearly 29 years.
And in a statement from East Grinstead RFC chairman Bob Marsh and President Andy Poole, they said 'Matt was an inspiring and much-loved figure at the club'.
The statement on Facebook said: "East Grinstead Rugby Football Club are utterly devastated to hear the tragic news that the Police Sergeant who lost his life in Croydon, was our Head Coach, Matt Ratana.
"Matt was an inspiring and much-loved figure at the club and there are truly no words to describe how we are feeling.
"We would like to take some time as a club and community to begin to comprehend what has happened.
"Our deepest and sincerest condolences go to Matt’s loved ones, family, friends, colleagues and to our community rugby family at this most terrible time."
Rugby clubs around Sussex have also paid tribute.
Hove RFC tweeted: "We are devastated for you all and our thoughts are with everyone at East Grinstead at such a sad time. Matt was a terrific bloke and we will miss him dearly."
Chichester RFC posted: "Incredibly sad, the thoughts of everyone at Chichester RFC are with you at this difficult time."
A murder investigation has been launched following the incident in south London, which happened at approximately 02:15am this morning in Windmill Lane.
A 23-year-old man was detained by officers at the scene.