Sir senior Kapi-Natto passes away
THE SPORTING fraternity is mourning the death one of sports passionate supporters Sir Kapi Natto. Natto was the franchise owner of Hekari United FC.
He flew to Lae over the weekend to watch his favourite soccer team, Hekari United FC play. Natto was rushed to the Lae International Hospital after he collapsed at the Nadzab Airport while waiting to board a flight to Port Moresby. He was pronounced dead on arrival.
Close aide and Besta PNG United coach Mathew Witu confirmed from Lae last night that soccer and sports has lost one of its number one supporters.
Natto’s son John Kapi, who is the Chairman of the National Soccer League (NSL) Board and Vice President of PNG Football Association, is currently out of the country and is expected back today.
His daughter in-law and Hekari United FC team manageress Vonnie Kapi-Natto last night confirmed that Natto’s body is currently in the morgue at the Lae International Hospital. She said the family is shocked at the untimely death of Natto.
Natto, a retired correctional services officer, is from the Fasu tribe of Lake Kutubu.
His involvement in the development of sport goes back to the late 1970s and early 80s in Mendi, when he transformed Mendi Tarangau Rugby League Club into a formidable force in the Mendi Rugby League Competition.
He inspired and help founded the National Tarangau Association, the umbrella entity for all Tarangau clubs in the country.
Natto became the founding president of the Tarangau Sports Association which administers National Tarangau Rugby League tournament.
Only last week, he spoke about his sadness at seeing the body he set up becoming defunct, and expressed a desire to help revive it.
He was also president of soccer clubs, Souths United in Port Moresby and Hekari United in the semi professional competition, NSL.
His support for sports was not just in words. As a Kutubu landowner, he convinced the Petroleum Resource Kutubu (PRK) board to pour money into all forms of sports including netball, soccer, rugby union, basketball, and rugby league.