Memorial service will pay tribute to ex-Newcastle United star Pavel Srnicek

Hundreds of mourners are expected to pay an emotional final farewell to tragic Newcastle United hero Pavel Srnicek tomorrow.

Tuesday, 12th January 2016, 1:00 am
Hundreds of mourners will pay their last respects to former Newcastle United star Pavel Srnicek.

Friends, family and fans will honour the Czech Republic shot-stopper at a memorial service.

Srnicek, who was a hugely-popular figure with supporters during two stints between the posts at St James’s Park, died on December 29 at the age of just 47 – nine days after suffering a cardiac arrest in his native Czech Republic.

He battled for survival in an induced coma before the decision was made to switch off his life-support machine.

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A funeral service was held in Srnicek’s home town of Ostrava last Monday – but now many of his friends, former team-mates and throngs of fans will be given the chance to pay their own emotional tribute to a man who was fondly looked upon as an adopted Geordie.

The memorial service will be held at St Andrew’s Church, in Newgate Street, Newcastle, at noon tomorrow.

The goalkeeper also represented Sheffield Wednesday, Portsmouth and West Ham and had spells in Italy and Portugal, but it is his years at St James’s Park – including his role in Kevin Keegan’s flamboyant side of the 1990s – for which he will be best remembered. Srnicek had only been back in the North East last month to launch his autobiography, before falling ill on his return home.

Thousands of Newcastle supporters chanted his name during the Boxing Day match with Everton – hoping and praying he would pull off a recovery. However, now they will gather in his second home of Newcastle to pay their final respects to a man so well-loved on and off the pitch.

In a stirring tribute, Srnicek’s brother Milan Srnicek, said his death was like losing a “best friend” and “my greatest idol”.

He said: “During those last days with my brother, we read the messages from fans to him, and to keep us strong.”