TRIBUTES have been paid to a Christleton rugby player and soldier who died before Christmas.

Ahead of Christleton RUFC’s clash with Crosby St Mary’s at the weekend, both sides and spectators marked the tragic recent death of Christleton player Josateki Matasere in December whilst back home in Fiji on leave from the Army with a minute’s silence.

Josateki, known as Teki, had played for Christleton for two years since being posted to the Chester Barracks.

Representing his regiment an The Army at Rugby Union and Rugby League he was a key member of the Army 7’s squad.

A Christelton RUFC club spokesperson described Teki as “a fantastic naturally gifted rugby player who played the game with a huge smile on his face, a friend to many and will be a huge loss not only to his family and friends but also Christleton RUFC, The Army and his many comrades”.

Chester and District Standard: Christleton RUFC pay tribute to Josateki Matasere Christleton RUFC pay tribute to Josateki Matasere (Image: Christleton RUFC)

In a statement posted on social media website X (formerly known as Twitter), Army Rugby League chairman Lt Col R Grover said: “It is with great sadness that the Army Rugby League announce the passing of our brother Private Josateki Kautani Matasere, ‘Teki’.
Chester and District Standard: Pte Josateki Kautani Matasere,Pte Josateki Kautani Matasere, (Image: The Royal Yorkshire Regiment)
“A tremendous talent and presence on and off of the rugby field. In just two seasons he saw success with the Yorkshire Regiment, became a champion with the Infantry, represented the Army and delivered scintillating and memorable performances.

“Incredibly loyal and generous, a friend to all with a smile to brighten any day. A joy to hear him laugh, sing and celebrate. A light has gone out in the world and we shall miss him enormously.

“Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to all of his family at this tragic time. Our sincerest condolences are shared with his many, many friends and comrades.

“Rest in peace Teki, God bless.”