Kato Ottio

NRL: Ahulo Ottio thanks the Canberra Raiders for emotional tribute to Kato Ottio

The Ottio family is still grieving over the loss of a son and brother that would have celebrated his 24th birthday on Tuesday, March 20.

Moments after the Canberra Raiders suffered defeat at the hands of the Newcastle Knights at Canberra Stadium on Sunday, the two clubs combined to pay tribute to Ottio.

Ottio died of heatstroke in January, two days before he was due to fly to England to join the Super League's Widnes Vikings.

Hunters players to be counselled

Ottio, who had been due to fly to England with Kumuls teammate Wellington Albert on Thursday to join Super League club Widnes, passed away at the Pacific International Hospital in Port Moresby at 2am on Tuesday after collapsing during a road run on Sunday.

Hunters players held a bedside vigil for the 23-year-old, who had asked to join the session with the Queensland Cup premiers at short notice.

Ottio funeral on Friday

PNGRFL Chairman, SandisTsaka said that a post mortem will be carried out on late Kato Ottio tonight.

“The family early this afternoon agreed for a post mortem to be done to determine the cause of death,” Tsaka said.

“Therefore the funeral service will now be held on Friday morning.”

Kato Ottio will be buried at the 9 Mile cemetery outside Port Moresby later in the afternoon on Friday.

Widnes Vikings: PNG’s talent could be seen in Kato

James Rule, the Chief Executive of Widnes Vikings in a statement spoke about the loss of Kato and expressed the clubs condolences.

“On behalf of Widnes Vikings, the club that was proud to be welcoming him into its family, I would like to take this opportunity to reach out to our friends In Papua New Guinea, who we are united with in grief.

“Widnes Vikings have long recognised the incredible playing talent within Papua New Guinea. Our belief in the players of your nation was affirmed by the incredible performance by the Kumuls at the Rugby League World Cup.


James Rule, CEO of Widnes Vikings, says: “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.