Former Newcastle United goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek has died at the age of 47, nine days after suffering a cardiac arrest in his native Czech Republic.
A big favourite with fans during his first spell at St James’ Park between 1991 and 1998, Srnicek collapsed while jogging on 20 December.
He was taken to a hospital in Ostrava and placed in an induced coma.
Srnicek, who also played for Sheffield Wednesday, Portsmouth and West Ham, made 49 appearances for his country.
The son of a woodcutter, he joined Newcastle at the start of the 1990s and played under Jim Smith, Ossie Ardiles, Kevin Keegan and Kenny Dalglish.
While Keegan was in charge, Srnicek helped the Magpies win promotion to the Premier League and was an integral part of the squad that came close to winning the title in 1996.
The Magpies led by 12 points in January but tailed off badly to finish four points adrift of champions Manchester United.
Srnicek returned to the club on a season-long deal in September 2006 as cover for the injured Shay Given but was released in May 2007.
He was in Tyneside recently to promote his autobiography.
Following his collapse, Newcastle supporters chanted his name during their Premier League match against Everton on Boxing Day.
‘Keegan lost his head a little bit’
“We had quite a young team and we didn’t have the experience,” he recalled. “We had never been in that situation before.
“We probably didn’t know how to hold off the pressure when we started losing the points. We tried to do so many different things.
“Kevin Keegan lost his head a little bit and in the end I was playing one game and [goalkeeper] Shaka Hislop was playing the next game.
“Maybe looking back, this was one of the bad things. All of these little things together, maybe that’s why we didn’t make it.”