Matija Sarkic, Millwall and Montenegro goalkeeper, dies aged 26

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The Millwall and Montenegro goalkeeper Matija Sarkic has died at the age of 26, the club have announced. It has been reported that Sarkic fell ill at an apartment in the town of Budva in Montenegro on Saturday morning.

“Millwall Football Club is completely devastated to announce that Matija Sarkic has passed away at the age of 26,” the Championship club said in a statement. “Everyone at the club sends their love and condolences to Matija’s family and friends at this immensely sad time. The club will make no further comment at this time and asks that the privacy of Matija’s family is respected.”

The Grimsby-born Sarkic began his career in Anderlecht’s academy before joining Aston Villa in 2015. He had loan spells at Wigan, Stratford, Havant and Waterlooville and Livingston and moved to Wolves in 2020. He played 60 games during loan spells at Shrewsbury, Birmingham and Stoke before joining Millwall last August, where he made 33 appearances.

Sarkic made his Montenegro debut against Belarus in 2019 and was on international duty last week for a friendly against Belgium. The Montenegro FA said in a statement that Sarkic had “died suddenly” morning.

“A beloved member of the ‘Brave Falcons’, an eternally smiling guy, played for our “A” selection in nine games, in which he showed how much he means to this team,” the statement said. “Together with his twin brother Oliver, he passed all the junior categories of the Montenegrin national team. In the jersey of that iconic London club [Millwall], he left his mark, which was yet to become part of a bigger and more beautiful story. Premature death stopped that and caused great pain to the Sarkic family. The Football Association of Montenegro expresses its sincere condolences to the Sarkic family.”

The Football Association added: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Millwall goalkeeper Matija Sarkic. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends, as well as everybody at the club and the Montenegro national team at this very sad time.” The Professional Footballers’ Association and the Football League also offered their condolences to Sarkic’s family and friends.


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