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The football world was shocked to hear the sad news that Pavel Srnicek had passed away on Sunday December 29, 2015. The giant shot-stopper, who was only 47, was put into an induced coma after suffering a cardiac arrest whilst out jogging in his native Ostrava. He died nine days later when his life support was turned off due to irreversible brain damage.
“Pav” had a brief spell with West Ham at the end of season 2003-04 when he made three Nationwide League Division One appearances between the posts.
He started his professional career with Czechoslovak First League side Banik Ostrava before establishing himself as Newcastle United’s first-choice goalkeeper, making 150 appearances over seven seasons.
Born: Ostravia, Czechoslovakia March 10, 1968
Pavel Srnicek died December 29, 2015 aged 47.
Nationwide League Division One Debut
The New Den
March 21, 2004
Kevin Horlock (Brian Deane)
Matthew Etherington (Pavel Srnicek)
Marlom Harewood (Joel McAnuff)
Pavel is a Geordie
Steve Howey Srnicek’s team mate at St James’ Park:
He was such a big,
As a goalkeeper he had everything.
It’s a devastating day
theyflysohigh would like to pass on our condolences to Pavel's friends and family at this sad time.
Date of Birth:
March 10, 1968
3 Nationwide League Division One
Four Claret & Blue Months
Srnicek initially joined West Ham on a one month loan deal from Harry Redknapp’s Premier League side Portsmouth on February 19, 2004 as cover for first-choice goalkeeper Stephen Bywater.
To maintain his match day sharpness whilst understudy to Bywater, Pav made three FA Premier Reserve League South games. The first was in West Ham's 2-0 win over Chelsea on March 3, 2004 at Aldershot's Recreation Ground.
The international goalkeeper's four months at the Boleyn Ground probably turned out to be more eventful than the adopted Geordie expected.
Just days away from his loan deal expiring he came off the bench to make his West Ham debut for the young and still inexperienced Bywater who was sent-off playing in only his nineteenth game for the Hammers in the away fixture with London rivals Millwall.
Srnicek’s loan was subsequently turned into a permanent arrangement until the end of the 2003-04 season following Bywater’s red-card suspension.
Srnicek’s debut against The Lions at the New Den came in his eighth game of warming the bench on Sunday March 21, 2004. The sending off of goalkeeper Bywater necessitated the substitution of an outfield player, winger Matthew Etherington was sacrificed in the 61st minute to ensure the Hammers had a recognised goalkeeper between the posts. It wasn’t a good day for the Irons’ as Millwall ran out 4-1 winners but Pav only conceded one of the four.
Pav made two further 90 minutes appearances over the Easter break against Derby County (April 10) and Crystal Palace (April 12).
In the Derby County game, his home debut, he helped the Hammers with a clean sheet in the goalless draw. And two days later was in the side which lost 1-0 at Selhurst Park. So in his three appearances he conceded just two goals.
Pavel punches clear during his unexpected Hammers debut at Millwall
First Division Play-offs 2003-04
A highlight of his claret and blue tenure would have been as a member of the match squads for the two-legged Division One Play-off semi-final (v. Ipswich Town) and the Play-off final (v. Crystal Palace) held at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.
Pavel reveals in his autobiography “Pavel is a Geordie” that his stay in east London was close to being extended:
“Alan (Pardew) says there was another year for me if the Hammers beat Crystal Palace in the play-off final at Cardiff. Unfortunately, Palace won and money was in short supply so I was looking for yet another club.”
49 international caps for Czechoslovakia between 1994 and 2001. First cap won v Malta in 1994
After 150 games at St. James' Park he lost his first team place to future Hammer Shaka Hislop, and returned to Banik Ostrava in the summer of 1998
A year later he returned to English football to join Sheffield Wednesday to make his debut against his former club, The Magpies. He made 52 league appearances for The Owls before leaving in June 2000.
In July 2000 in signed for the Italian club Brescia. Also had a loan spell with Cosenza.
In September 2003 Harry Redknapp signed him for Portsmouth again as cover for Shaka Hislop. Five months later he signs for West Ham United.
After leaving West Ham he played in Portugal (Beira Mar) and briefly returned to Newcastle United as cover for Shay Given, making two further appearances before retiring from playing.
Later established the Srnicek school of goalkeeping in his home country and coached at Sparta Prague.
Pavel vents his feelings to his defenders
November 2001 Brussels - Pavel Srnicek grounded as fellow Czech Tomas Repka appeals as Belgian players Gert Verheyen and Wesley Sonck react during their World Cup qualifier play-off
Support material courtesy of John Northcutt and Hammers News