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Millwall goalkeeper Matija Sarkic tragically dies aged 26 as tributes pour in

:Headline: Millwall goalkeeper Matija Sarkic tragically dies aged 26 as tributes pour in:
Millwall announce the tragic death of goalkeeper Matija Sarkic at the age of just 26 after the Montenegro international reportedly fell ill on international duty.
Sports Mole

Championship outfit Millwall have announced the tragic death of goalkeeper Matija Sarkic at the age of just 26.

The Grimsby-born Montenegro international was away on duty with his country and played in a 2-0 friendly defeat to Belgium just 10 days ago on June 5.

Sarkic was subsequently missing from the squad for a 3-1 loss to Georgia last Sunday, and a report from The Mirror claims that he was taken ill in an apartment before dying on Saturday morning.

Millwall said that they were "completely devastated" by the death of their number one goalkeeper, who made 33 appearances for the Lions last season following his arrival from Wolverhampton Wanderers.

"Millwall Football Club is completely devastated to announce that Matija Sarkic has passed away at the age of 26," the club said. "Sarkic, The Lions' number one goalkeeper, made 33 appearances for the club since joining from Wolverhampton Wanderers in August 2023.

"A Montenegro international, Matija proudly represented his country on numerous occasions. 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."

Multiple clubs pay tribute to Sarkic

News of Sarkic's death sparked an outpouring of tributes from fellow English clubs, including Birmingham City, whom the late 26-year-old represented during the first half of the 2021-22 season on loan.

"Everyone at Birmingham City is shocked and saddened to learn of the news that our former goalkeeper, Matija Sarkic, has passed away at the age of 26," Birmingham said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and all those that knew him."

Wigan Athletic also paid tribute to Sarkic, who also spent half a year on loan with the Latics, saying: "We join the footballing world in mourning the loss of our former goalkeeper, Matija Sarkic who has sadly passed away. Our thoughts are with Matija's family and friends at this difficult time."

Meanwhile, Aston Villa said: "Everyone at Aston Villa is deeply saddened by news of the passing of our former goalkeeper Matija Sarkic. The thoughts and condolences of all at the club are with his family and friends at this incredibly sad time."

Leeds United, Crystal Palace, West Ham United and Coventry City also replied to Millwall's post on X offering their condolences following the death of Sarkic, who came through the Anderlecht youth system and joined Aston Villa in 2015.

Sarkic was a regular for the Lions' Under-23s and had spells on loan with Wigan, Stratford Town and Havant & Waterlooville before joining Wolves on a free transfer in 2020, making three appearances for the senior side.

The Montenegro international also represented Stoke City while on the books at Wolves, who sold him to Millwall for £1.2m last summer, and he started 32 Championship matches in the 2023-24 campaign.

Sarkic made his senior Montenegro debut in 2019 and earned nine caps for the national team, including a 2-2 draw with the Netherlands in World Cup 2022 qualifying. body check tags ::

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