In Your Area Community News, 19th October 2020
Former Sgt Simon Stevens took part in the virtual London Marathon event, running 26 miles in memory of his friend Sgt Matt Ratana who was tragically killed on duty in Croydon on September 25th. Wanting to do something positive in his friend’s memory, Simon ran in support of charities close to his heart, one of them being Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).
“On September 25, Police Sergeant Matt Ratana was tragically shot and killed whilst on duty at Croydon Custody suite,” Simon stated. “I worked with Matt at his first police station at Charing Cross and was on his team for many years. Matt was a true legend in all ways and a typical Kiwi who was an outstanding rugby player. I don’t need to go on because what you hear and read about the man is under-estimated he was one of life’s greats.
“As part of the 2020 Virgin Virtual London Marathon, I started from our first ‘nick’ at Charing Cross Agar Street WC2 to Croydon Custody centre and back.
“For the first half of my run I was joined by mine and Matt’s colleague Mel Gilmour. Mel was also on our team back in the ‘90s and worked alongside Matt.
“We ran via New Zealand House, Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, No 10 Downing Street, the Palace of Westminster and then found my way to Croydon to pay my respects then ran back finishing at Charing Cross via the Windmill pub on Clapham Common to meet my family and have a cheeky half in honour of Matt. No matter what, I knew I would finish in Matt’s honour even if I had to crawl.
“I’ve run many marathons before, over the years, and was planning on taking part in this unusual virtual event, just to tick it off the list.
“But when I heard the devastating news about Matt, I knew I needed to do something and realised this would be my way of saying ‘thanks, mate, you’re my buddy and let’s get something good out of this tragedy.’ RIP Matt Ratana, your last shift is over, you are dismissed with thanks….”