Arsenal honour NZ-born policeman killed in UK before Premier League match

The New Zealand-born police officer who was shot dead in the UK late last month has been honoured in the English Premier League.

Sergeant Matiu "Matt" Ratana, who was born and raised in the Hawke's Bay before he moved to the UK for most of his life, was shot dead while on duty at a South London custody centre, allegedly by a man who was being detained.

While Ratana has been recognised as a rugby fanatic following his death, English football club Arsenal have also decided to pay tribute to him in this morning's Premier League match against Sheffield United.

Both Arsenal and Sheffield put jerseys in the stands which bore "Sgt Ratana" on the back, either side of an English officer's uniform.

The teams also observed a minute's silence and shared an image of Ratana on the stadium's large screens.

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Cressida Dick paid tribute to Sergeant Matt Ratana after he was shot dead at Croydon Custody Centre. Source: Breakfast

Arsenal later revealed their connection to Ratana in a statement.

“Just over a week ago, Sergeant Matt Ratana was tragically killed in the line of duty," the London club said.

"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.’’

Hackney is a suburb near Arsenal's Emirates Stadium.

Chelsea and Crystal Palace also held a moment’s silence before their match on Saturday (Sunday NZ time) at Stamford Bridge.