Arsenal pay tribute to Sgt Matt Ratana – who was tragically shot dead inside a police station last week – by dressing seats with club shirts bearing his name alongside Met Police uniform and holding minute’s silence ahead of Premier League match
- A touching tribute to the late Sgt Matt Ratana has been unveiled at the Emirates
- Mr Ratana was tragically shot dead inside a police station in Croydon last week
- Arsenal and Sheffield United have penned a joint statement to pay respects
- Three seats at the stadium have been dressed in club shirts and a Met uniform
The 54-year-old was fired upon while preparing to search a handcuffed suspect who managed to smuggle a weapon into the custody suite in Croydon on September 25.
The shocking news was greeted with widespread shock from the sporting world, and both Premier League clubs have shared emotional tributes to Mr Ratana ahead of their clash on Sunday.
Arsenal and Sheffield United paid a touching tribute to the late Met Police officer Matt Ratana
The home shirts of both clubs dressed two seats at the Emirates and were flanked by a uniform
Sgt Ratana (R) received a long and good service medal from the Commissioner Cressida Dick
Several seats at the Emirates have been dressed with club shirts adorned with Mr Ratana’s name on the back flanking a Met Police uniform.
A joint message from the clubs read: ‘Sergeant Ratana served in the Hackney area between 2010 and 2015, and was the centrepiece of community policing.
‘Our condolences go out to his family, friends and colleagues.’
Both teams stood either side of the centre circle before kick off on Sunday afternoon to pay their respects, while a tribute to Mr Ratana was also shown on the big screen.
Sgt Ratana had been taken to hospital after the shooting at 2.15am last Friday and was tragically pronounced dead at 4.20am after fighting for his life, a coroner was told on October 1.
The handcuffed suspect has been widely named as Louis De Zoysa, 23. He remains in a critical condition in hospital with a neck injury after shooting himself with five shots.
The shots were discharged while De Zoyza’s, of Norbury, south London, hands were handcuffed behind his back. He was not named at the inquest hearing.
The suspect had been taken into custody on suspicion of the possession of ammunition and a class B drug.
Media are seen outside Croydon coroner’s court ahead of the inquest into Mr Ratana’s death
Detective Superintendent Nick Blackman revealed the preliminary cause of death given following the post-mortem examination was a gunshot wound to the chest.
Teams have fallen silent for a minute before kick-off at several top flight games in honour of Mr Ratana. He is the eighth officer to be shot dead in Britain over the last 20 years.
Officers across Britain also observed a minute’s silence in memory of their colleague and many forces shared solemn tributes on social media.