Pavel Srnicek: Former Newcastle keeper dies aged 47

Former Newcastle United keeper Pavel Srnicek
Pavel Srnicek also played in Portugal, Italy - for Brescia and Cosenza - and for Banik Ostrava in the Czech Republic

Former Newcastle United goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek has died at the age of 47, nine days after suffering 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.

His agent, Steve Wraith, said brain scans had shown "irreversible damage" and the decision "had to be taken" to switch off his life support machine.

Wraith added: "Pav passed away on the afternoon of Tuesday, 29 December 2015, with his family by his side."

Alan Shearer
Former England captain Alan Shearer was a team-mate of Srnicek's at Newcastle

The son of a woodcutter, Srnicek joined Newcastle in 1991 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.

Wraith said that his "final conversation" with Srnicek was about getting the 1995-96 team back together for a charity event next year.

He added: "We will make that happen and celebrate this great man's life together. United. Fans and players alike."

Former Newcastle United keeper Pavel Srnicek
Srnicek made 150 appearances for Newcastle during his first spell with the club in the 1990s, including this Charity Shield defeat by Manchester United in 1996

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 after making 190 appearances for Newcastle across his two spells.

Before his death, Srnicek was the goalkeeping coach at Sparta Prague and was on Tyneside recently to promote his autobiography.

Following his collapse, Newcastle supporters chanted his name during their Premier League match against Everton on Boxing Day.

Watch the late Newcastle keeper Pavel Srnicek in action v Man Utd

In a statement, Newcastle United said: "The thoughts of everyone at Newcastle United are with Pavel's family, many friends, former colleagues and supporters at this very difficult time."

Former central defender Steve Howey, who played with Srnicek at Newcastle, said it was a "devastating day".

He told BBC Radio 5 live: "There aren't enough words to describe such a wonderful, strong, lovely man.

"He was such a big, strong character and fantastic personality and I feel blessed that I was able to be a good friend. We've lost an amazing person, one of our own, and he'll be sorely missed."

Former Newcastle United keeper Pavel Srnicek
A fan wears a Pavel Srnicek shirt during Newcastle's match against Everton on Boxing Day

Reaction to Srnicek's death

Stephen Harper
Former Newcastle United goalkeeper Steve Harper was at St James' Park at the same time as Srnicek
Andrew Cole
Srnicek's former Newcastle team-mate Andrew Cole said the news was "desperately sad"
Tim Krul
Current Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul said Srnicek was a "great man"
Petr Cech
Arsenal goalkeeper and Czech captain Petr Cech tweeted his thoughts
Shaka Hislop
Former Magpies goalkeeper Shaka Hislop was a team-mate of Srnicek's in the 1990s
Peter Schmeichel
Ex-Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel said Srnicek was a "gentleman and a great sportsman"