Millwall boss pays tribute to 'radiant' Sarkic

Millwall manager Neil Harris has paid an emotional tribute to Matija Sarkic following the goalkeeper's death at the age of 26.

Sarkic, a Montenegro international, joined the Championship club from Wolves in August 2023 and made 33 appearances last season.

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

"I was with him last Thursday at the training ground and he had a huge smile on his face and was so excited about going to see his family in Montenegro - he was radiant," said Harris.

"Every day he came in with a smile on his face and just wanted to be better. He was very driven and had high aspirations for himself.

"I can't praise him highly enough as a human being and also as a professional. He loved the game and loved his job.

"It's no surprise when you read people talking so fondly of him. They talk about his radiant smile and his nature and his goodwill."

Sarkic last played for his country in a 2-0 friendly defeat by Belgium on 5 June.

The FSCG described him as a "beloved member" of the national squad and an "eternally smiling guy".

"You can never imagine the devastation in the moment that you find out that such a good man at such a tender age has lost his life," Harris said in an interview with the club website, external.

"What makes it very emotional for me is that I have a 22-year-old son myself and Mati was obviously only a few years older.

"First thoughts have to go with his parents and his brothers - he was a wonderful son and wonderful brother that was a really caring, good man.

"It's devastating news for the family and for our football club."