Matija Sarkic: Millwall announces death of 26-year-old goalkeeper

Matija Sarkic in action for Millwall

Millwall goalkeeper Matija Sarkic has died aged 26.

Sarkic, a Montenegrin international, joined the Championship club from Wolves in August 2023 and made 33 appearances last season.

He last played for his country in a 2–0 friendly defeat against Belgium on 5 June.

The Montenegrin Football Federation (FSCG) said Sarkic died suddenly on Saturday morning, with local media reporting he collapsed in his Budva apartment.

The FSCG described Sarkic as a “beloved member” of the national team and an “eternally smiling man”.

“His premature death caused great pain to the Sarkic family,” the statement added.

Millwall said they were “completely devastated”.

“Everyone at the club sends their love and condolences to Matija’s family and friends at this extremely sad time,” the Lions said.

Sarkic, born in Grimsby, played youth team football for Belgian side Anderlecht before joining Aston Villa.

He had loan spells with Wigan, Stratford Town, Havant & Waterlooville and Livingston before moving to Wolves permanently in 2020.

Loans to Shrewsbury Town, Birmingham City – where he made 23 appearances on loan during the 2021-22 season – and Stoke City followed before his move to Millwall.

Villa said on X: “Everyone at Aston Villa is deeply saddened.

“Matija joined our academy in 2015 and spent five years with the club, during which time he made his full international debut for Montenegro, before leaving in the summer of 2020.

“The thoughts and condolences of everyone at the club are with his family and friends at this incredibly sad time.”

The Football Association, the Professional Footballers’ Association and the English Football League also offered their condolences to Sarkic’s family and friends.

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