Shropshire Star

Former Wolves, Aston Villa and Shrewsbury Town goalkeeper Matija Sarkic dies aged 26

Former Wolves, Aston Villa and Shrewsbury Town goalkeeper Matija Sarkic has tragically passed away at the age of 26.

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Sarkic was currently away on international duty with Montenegro, but reportedly fell ill and was pronounced dead early this morning.

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

The FSCG described Sarkic as a 'beloved member' of the squad and an 'eternally smiling guy'.

"His untimely death has caused great pain to the Sarkic family," it added.

Matija Sarkic (Getty)

The Millwall goalkeeper was man-of the-match during Montenegro's 2-0 defeat to Belgium last Wednesday.

"Millwall Football Club is completely devastated to announce that Matija Sarkic has passed away at the age of 26," read a club statement.

"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."

Sarkic signed for Wolves on a three-year contract from Aston Villa in the summer of 2020 after spending five years at Villa Park.

He enjoyed successful loan spells at both Shrewsbury Town (26 league appearances) and Birmingham City (23).

"Matija was a hugely popular figure at the club. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this incredibly sad time," read a statement from Shrewsbury Town.

Matija Sarkic on loan at Shrewsbury Town (AMA)

On his return to Wolves, Sarkic made his first-team debut in the EFL Cup second-round win over Preston.

He also played in the third round win over Leeds and their 2-2 FA Cup draw at Liverpool.

A statement from Wolves said: "We are truly heartbroken by today’s tragic news.

"Matija was someone who had time for anybody at the football club, no matter who they were.

"He was smart, bright, warm and funny, and gave everything to his profession and the people around him.

"A teammate, a colleague and a friend. He will be missed by all of us."

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

He previously loan spells with Wigan, Stratford Town, Havant & Waterlooville and Livingston before a permanent move to Wolves in 2020.