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Millwall goalkeeper Matija Sarkic dies aged 26: what was the cause of death?

Former Aston Villa youth player Sarkic had been on international duty with the Montenegro national team when tragedy struck.

Former Aston Villa youth player Sarkic was on international duty with the Montenegro national team when tragedy struck.

English soccer club Millwall have announced that their goalkeeper Matija Sarkic has tragically died at the age of just 26.

The player had been on international duty with the Montenegro national team and reportedly became ill at an apartment in the Montenegrin town of Budva. Friends called for an ambulance but it was confirmed he had passed away at 6:30 a.m. local time (12:30 a.m. ET) on Saturday morning.

Millwall statement on Matija Sarkic death

Millwall, who play in the English Championship, the division below the English Premier League, released the following statement after Sarkic’s death:

“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.

The club will make no further comment at this time and asks that the privacy of Matija’s family is respected.”

Sarkic’s career in England and with Montenegro

Born in England to a Montenegrin diplomat, Sarkic was part of the youth academies at Belgian club Anderlecht and Aston Villa, but never played a game for either team. He had spells out on loan in England and Scotland before signing for Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2020.

The goalkeeper played once in the FA Cup and twice in the Carabao Cup for Wolves, having loan spells at Shrewsbury Town, Birmingham City and Stoke City in three consecutive seasons. He made a permanent transfer to Millwall in 2023 and was their first-choice goalkeeper in the season just finished, making 33 appearances in all competitions.

Sarkic made his senior international debut for Montenegro in 2019 and was named MVP on his final appearance for his country, a 2-0 friendly defeat to Belgium on 5 June.