Ex-Raiders player Kato Ottio dies suddenly

There has been an outpouring of grief around the world following the sudden passing of former Raider Kato Ottio

There has been an outpouring of grief around the world following the sudden passing of former Raider Kato Ottio

It has since been confirmed by the Pacific International Hospital that Kato Ottio died from "complicated heat stroke" after collapsing during a training run the PNG Hunters.

'This news is all the more tragic, because Kato was due to travel to the United Kingdom this week to fulfil his dream of playing first-grade rugby league, ' Rule continued.

Albert was due to fly to England with Ottio tomorrow but has put back his arrival as he tries to come to terms with the tragic news.

Kato Ottio played all four games for the Kumuls in the 2017 World Cup
Kato Ottio played all four games for the Kumuls in the 2017 World Cup

"As a club, Widnes Vikings have committed to making a private donation to Kato's family to support them at this hard time".

Vikings CEO James Rule said, 'We are devastated to learn that Kato Ottio has passed away this afternoon.

Rugby League players, as well as ordinary citizens, are now calling for a full and proper postmortem of late Ottio to find the cause of his death.

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Ottio played six times for the national side, the Kumuls, and featured in last year's World Cup.

"To get this news is devastating, and our thoughts are with his family".

It was around November of that year that NRL side Canberra Raiders - after Ottio had caught the eye of Raiders' recruitment manager Peter Mulholland following Ottio's starring role in 19 of the Hunters' Queensland Cup games in 2015 - were said to be monitoring the towering three-quarter with the potential of giving him a professional contract just 12 months into his Rugby League career.

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"To receive this tragic news is heart-breaking", Widnes head coach Denis Betts said.

Club officials had been furnishing the house Ottio and Albert were going to share when they learned the news.

Ottio made 32 appearances for the Hunters before signing for Canberra in 2016 and scored 29 tries in 23 matches for their feeder club, Mounties.

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"Widnes Vikings would like to thank everyone who supports these efforts, and to again offer our honest condolences to his family, friends and former colleagues".

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