By Renee Bogatko, Image Credit – Kato Ottio/Facebook
The rugby league community’s in shock after former Canberra Raider, Kato Ottio, passed away following a “sudden health issue” in training.
The Papua New Guinea international was due to travel to the UK this week to fulfil his dream of playing first grade rugby with the Widnes Vikings.
He signed with the English Super League club after playing for his country at the World Cup.
Ottio, who was just 23, joined the Canberra Raiders in February 2016, but didn’t quite make it to the first grade team.
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said he was knocked for six when he heard the devastating news.
“It was hard to believe given the age of Kato and how I remembered him here, I am really lost for words,” he said.
“Kato was an important part of our club and very close mate to all our boys and staff.”
Stuart said he was a respectful young man who’ll be sorely missed.
“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.”
Rest in peace mate.