Kato Ottio passes away aged 23

Discussion in 'General Rugby League' started by rhugh89, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Budding NRL star and ex-Raider Kato Ottio dead at 23


    DAVID CAMPBELL, The Daily Telegraph
    6 minutes ago



    THE NRL community is mourning the death of former Canberra Raiders winger Kato Ottio.

    News the Papua New Guinea international had died began filtering out on social media early Tuesday before his Super League club - Widnes Vikings - confirmed his death.

    It is understood Ottio was training in Papua New Guinea with the PNG Hunters when he collapsed at training and was taken to Port Moresby Hospital where he later died.

    Vikings CEO James Rule said Ottio’s death had shocked the club.

    “We are devastated to learn that Kato Ottio has passed away this afternoon. Kato was an incredibly talented player, with a bright future ahead of him in rugby league,” Rule said in a statement.

    “This news is all the more tragic, because Kato was due to travel to the UK this week to fulfil his dream of playing first-grade rugby league. We had been in regular contact with Kato and were excited to welcome a bright, excited and passionate young man, who had genuine potential for the future.

    “Having only learned this morning that Kato had developed a sudden health issue whilst training yesterday, we are in absolute shock to now receive this tragic news.”

    Vikings head coach said Denis Betts said Ottio had been primed to join his new club after a successful Rugby League World Cup campaign in November.

    “To receive this tragic news is heart-breaking. All of us saw at the World Cup the incredible gifts that Kato had, and his potential to forge a great career in rugby league,” Betts said.

    “Moreover, in all of our interactions with him, we found Kato to be a person of great character, who was excited to be following his dreams.

    “On behalf of the coaching team, staff and players at Widnes Vikings, I would like to offer our sincere condolences to Kato’s loved ones.”

    Although he never got to make his NRL debut for the Raiders, Ottio was a prolific try scorer for Canberra’s feeder side Mounties in the NSW Cup.

    Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said news of Ottio’s death had left him stunned.

    “Receiving the devastating news this morning knocked me for six. It was hard to believe given the age of Kato and how I remembered him here, I am really lost for words,” Stuart said.

    “Kato was an important part of our club and very close mate to all our boys and staff. He was very close to his family and my heart and prayers go out to them. I just could not imagine what they are going through at this moment”

    Raiders teammates this morning took to social media to pay tribute to Ottio.

    Raiders forward Elliott Whitehead said Ottio would be sorely missed.

    “Such sad news this morning hearing about Kato passing away,” Elliott said on Instagram.

    “One guy who has always had a smile on his face. Loved my time with him at Raiders. RIP mate, gone way to soon.”

    Blake Austin echoed the sentiments of his teammates.

    Shattered to hear the news about Katsy. Wasn’t a day he wasn’t smiling, gone way too soon. Prayers with all his family,” Austin posted to his Instagram account.

    Ottio left the Raiders at the end of the 2017 season to take up a Super League contract with Widnes Vikings.


    https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/s...3/news-story/50688f1d67925d743441dc453a1609ed
     
  2. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    So very sudden and very tragic, Condolences to his family and friends
     
  3. packo

    packo :) (:

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    Very sad.
     
  4. Tasgirl

    Tasgirl Tasgirl

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  5. danknights

    danknights Darren Albert

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    So very sad. R.I.P mate.
     
  6. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Ottio funeral told of loyalty to PNG


    NRL.com
    Fri 12 Jan 2018, 06:09 PM



    It was standing room only at the Sir John Guise Indoor Stadium in Port Moresby as thousands of family members, teammates, PNG government ministers, members of the country's rugby league community and fans gathered to farewell Kato Ottio.

    Up to 70,000 more viewers from dozens of countries watched a live stream of the service, which began with the heartbreaking sight of the casket being carried into the venue by Ottio’s Kumuls and Hunters teammates.

    Kato’s brother, Ahulo Ottio jnr, was moved to tears as he revealed that the 23-year-old had turned down a contract from St George Illawarra Dragons on the eve of the World Cup because it came with the condition he withdraw from the Kumuls squad to undergo surgery before the 2018 NRL season.

    Despite protestations from his family to take the contract and fulfil his NRL dream, Ottio said he could not miss the opportunity to play in front of his people for the Kumuls, as he may never again get a chance to play in a World Cup on home soil.

    “I’m not sure a lot of people know this but he had the option to join St George, but the contract came with a condition for him to forgo the World Cup and clean out his ACL surgery,” Ahulo Ottio said.

    “He told me about it and I lost count of the times I begged him to take up the offer and forget the World Cup. I even lobbied mum to talk him out of it but it was all in vain.

    “He said ‘yes bro, that’s true, but I want to play in front of my people. We don’t know when the World Cup will come back to Papua New Guinea and this is my only chance’.

    “Seeing him out there in a band of brothers was something no-one can put a dollar to, and I’m proud he did what he did and played for his country.”

    Ottio subsequently signed for Super League club Widnes Vikings and had been due to depart for England this week with Kumuls teammate Wellington Albert but he collapsed during a road run last Sunday and passed away on Tuesday.

    PNG Hunters captain Ase Boas read out a tribute on behalf of Ottio’s teammates, and a message from Kumuls captain David Mead.

    “Kato was one of the most humble gentlemen and kind-hearted people I’ve ever met,” the tribute from Mead said.

    “Everyday at training he would have the big smile on his face and was always joking with the boys. I will miss you Kato. May you rest in peace."

    Tributes from the Canberra Raiders, Widnes Vikings and Rugby League International Federation were also shared at the service.

    Kumuls coach Michael Marum and team manager John Wilshere presented Ottio’s family with a jersey bearing his Kumul number, 269.

    PNGRFL Sandis Tsaka announced details of a bank account that will be open until Thursday 18 January accepting donations to help fulfil Ottio’s dream of building a house for his mother.

    A post-mortem took place on Thursday evening, but the corner is yet to release a report.

    By Joanna Lester/PNG Rugby League



    https://www.nrl.com/news/2018/01/12/kato-ottio-funeral-told-of-loyalty-to-PNG-rugby-league/
     
  7. member 2299

    member 2299 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus

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    Sad but good on you son for achieving your dream. Most of us can get to old age without succeeding!
     
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