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15th Jun 2024

Millwall goalkeeper Matija Šarkić dies aged 26

SportsJOE

The Grimsby-born goalie signed for the Lions last summer.

Millwall and Montenegro goalkeeper Matija Šarkić has died aged 26.

The former Aston Villa and Stoke City player is said to have fallen ill at an apartment in the town of Budva in Montenegro while on international duty.

He died at around 6:30 am local time on Saturday morning (June 15).

A few days ago, Šarkić impressed the public with several brilliant saves in a friendly match against Belgium in Brussels on June 5.

Despite winning man of the match in that game, he missed the following friendly against Georgia in Podgorica four days later.

In a statement, Millwall said they were “completely devastated” by the goalkeeper’s passing.

The club said: “Millwall Football Club is completely devastated to announce that Matija Sarkic has passed away at the age of 26.

“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.”

They added that no further comment would be made at this time and asked for the privacy of Matija’s family to be respected.

Millwall Supporters’ Club posted on X: “What horrendous news to wake up to this morning that our goalkeeper Matija Šarkić has died at the young age of 26. Devastating news for his friends and family and for all of us associated with Millwall. Once a lion, always a lion.”

Šarkić began his career in Anderlecht’s academy before being snapped up by Aston Villa in 2015.

The Grimsby-born stopper joined Wolves in 2020 and impressed in loan spells with Shrewsbury, Birmingham and Stoke.

He signed a permanent contract with Millwall during the 2023 summer transfer window and made 32 appearances for the club last season.

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