Pavel Srníček

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Pavel Srníček
Pavel Srnicek.jpg
Personal information
Full namePavel Srníček
Date of birth(1968-03-10)10 March 1968
Place of birth Ostrava, Czechoslovakia
Date of death 29 December 2015(2015-12-29) (aged 47)
Place of death Ostrava, Czech Republic
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 1 12 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
1977–1982 TJ Viktorie Bohumín
1982–1985 TJ ŽD Bohumín
1985–1987 Baník Ostrava
1987–1988 VTJ Tábor
1988–1990 Dukla Prague
Senior career*
1990–1991 Banik Ostrava 30 (0)
1991–1998 Newcastle United 150 (0)
1998 Banik Ostrava 6 (0)
1998–2000 Sheffield Wednesday 44 (0)
2000–2003 Brescia 32 (0)
2003 Cosenza 9 (0)
2003–2004 Portsmouth 3 (0)
2004West Ham United (loan) 1 (0)
2004 West Ham United 2 (0)
2004–2006 Beira-Mar 63 (0)
2006–2007 Newcastle United 2 (0)
National team
1994–2001 Czech Republic 49 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Pavel Srníček (10 March 1968 – 29 December 2015) was a Czech professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper from 1990 to 2007, mainly for Newcastle United. In addition, he represented Sheffield Wednesday, Portsmouth and West Ham United in England, and also played in Italy for Brescia and Cosenza, in Portugal for Beira-Mar, and in his native country for Banik Ostrava. After retiring, he worked as a goalkeeping coach for his own private school and for Sparta Prague.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

The goalkeeper, often shortened to keeper or goalie, is one of the major positions of association football. It is the most specialised position in the sport. The goalkeeper's primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring. This is accomplished by the goalkeeper moving into the path of the ball and either catching it or directing it away from the vicinity of the goal line. Within the penalty area goalkeepers are able to use their hands, making them the only players on the field permitted to handle the ball. The special status of goalkeepers is indicated by them wearing different coloured kits from their teammates.

Newcastle United F.C. Association football club

Newcastle United Football Club is a professional football club in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, that plays in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. Founded in 1892 by the merger of Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End, they have played at St James' Park since. The ground was developed into an all-seater stadium in the mid-1990s and now has a capacity of 52,354.


Srníček played internationally for the Czech Republic from 1994 to 2001, earning a total of 49 caps. He was part of their squad that came runners-up at UEFA Euro 96, and was their first-choice goalkeeper when they came third at the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup and contested UEFA Euro 2000.

Czech Republic national football team mens national association football team representing the Czech Republic

The Czech national football team represents the Czech Republic in association football and is controlled by the Football Association of the Czech Republic, the governing body for football in the Czech Republic. Historically, the team participated in FIFA and UEFA competitions as Bohemia, Austria-Hungary and Czechoslovakia, finishing second at the 1934 and 1962 World Cups and winning the European Championship in 1976.

Cap (sport) sports game

In sport, a cap is a metaphorical term for a player's appearance in a game at international level. The term dates from the practice in the United Kingdom of awarding a cap to every player in an international match of association football. In the early days of football, the concept of each team wearing a set of matching shirts had not been universally adopted, so each side would distinguish itself from the other by wearing a specific sort of cap.

1997 FIFA Confederations Cup 3rd FIFA Confederations Cup, held in Saudi Arabia

The 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup was the first Confederations Cup to be organised by FIFA. The tournament had previously been played in 1992 and 1995 as the King Fahd Cup. This edition of the tournament was hosted by Saudi Arabia, as with the previous editions, in December 1997 and was the first to feature representatives from all of the FIFA confederations.

Club career

Newcastle United

Srníček made 30 appearances in the Czechoslovak First League for Banik Ostrava spanning the 1989–90 and 1990–91 seasons. [1] He was signed for English side Newcastle United in January 1991 by manager Jim Smith for a fee of £350,000, [2] being one of 23 players signed by Smith in a two-and-a-half year period as manager. [3] Smith left just two months after Srníček's arrival. [3] Under manager Ossie Ardiles, Srníček established himself as Newcastle's first-choice goalkeeper ahead of John Burridge and Tommy Wright. [2] Srníček experienced difficulty in the first 15 games of the 1991–92 season, conceding 32 goals in that period including six in a single match against Tranmere Rovers. [4] Ardiles replaced Srníček as goalkeeper with Wright and by February 1992, the club was merely one place from last in the Second Division. [5] This led to Kevin Keegan replacing Ardiles as manager, with the club winning seven of their remaining 16 games, only managing to confirm their future status in the division with an away win against Leicester City on the last day of the season. [5] The club started the 1992–93 season in the new Football League First Division, winning all of their first 11 matches. [6] Wright lost his place as goalkeeper to Srníček after 14 games of the season. [6] At the end of the season, Keegan's first full one as manager, the club was promoted to the Premier League with 96 points. [5] 1993 saw the arrival of Mike Hooper from Liverpool, who competed with Srníček for the position of goalkeeper. [2]

The Czechoslovak First League was the premier football league in the Czechoslovakia from 1925 to 1993, with the exception of World War II. Czechoslovakia was occupied by German forces who formed Gauliga Sudetenland and Gauliga Böhmen und Mähren leagues on occupied territories. Until 1934-35 season no teams from Slovakia participated in the league.

Osvaldo Ardiles Argentine association football player and manager

Osvaldo César Ardiles, often referred to in Britain as Ossie Ardiles, is a football manager, pundit and former midfielder who won the 1978 FIFA World Cup as part of the Argentine national team. He now runs his own football school in the UK called the Ossie Ardiles Soccer School.

John Burridge is an English former football goalkeeper. In his senior career he played for 29 different clubs in a career that lasted nearly 30 years. Overall, Burridge played 771 league games in the English and Scottish leagues, and several more at non-league level. Burridge, played for fifteen Football League teams, which is a still-existing record.

Srníček marked the opening of the 1994–95 season, a 3–1 away victory against Leicester City, by being sent off. [7] A "terrible error" by Srníček in a September 1994 match against Liverpool resulted in a goal for Liverpool striker Ian Rush, ending Newcastle's perfect start to the season and leading Glenn Moore of The Independent to question how much longer the goalkeeper would remain in the first team. [8]

Leicester City F.C. Association football club

Leicester City Football Club is an English professional football club based in Leicester in the East Midlands. The club competes in the Premier League, England's top division of football, and plays its home games at the King Power Stadium.

Ejection (sports)

In sports, an ejection is the removal of a participant from a contest due to a violation of the sport's rules. The exact violations that lead to an ejection vary depending upon the sport, but common causes for ejection include unsportsmanlike conduct, violent acts against another participant that are beyond the sport's generally accepted standards for such acts, abuse against officials, violations of the sport's rules that the contest official deems to be egregious, or the use of an illegal substance to better a player's game. Most sports have provisions that allow players to be ejected, and many allow for the ejection of coaches, managers, or other non-playing personnel.

Ian Rush Welsh footballer

Ian James Rush, is a Welsh former professional footballer who played as a forward. At club level Rush played for Liverpool from 1980–1987 and 1988–1996. He is the club's all-time leading goalscorer, having scored a total of 346 goals in all competitions at the club, including a record 25 goals versus Merseyside derby rival Everton. At international level, Rush made 73 appearances for the Wales national football team and remained the record goalscorer for his country until 2018, with 28 goals between 1980 and 1996.

During Srníček's league suspension in 1995, former Reading man Shaka Hislop assumed position as the team's goalkeeper. [4] Later an injury to Hislop enabled Srníček to return to the first team, upon which he entered into an impressive run of form. [2] He was named man of the match in a December 1995 match against Everton, his team winning 1–0. [4] During the 1990s, Srníček became the longest-serving foreign Newcastle player, passing the time spent at the club by Chilean brothers George and Ted Robledo. [2] [4]

Reading F.C. association football club

Reading Football Club is a professional association football club based in Reading, Berkshire, England. The team play in the Championship, the second tier of English football.

Neil Shaka Hislop CM is a retired footballer who played as a goalkeeper. The majority of his career was spent in the top division in England where he was a part of the Newcastle United team which finished second in the Premier League for two successive seasons under Kevin Keegan's first tenure. Before this, he played for Reading where he was on the losing side in the 1st Division play-offs despite finishing second overall. He later played for West Ham United on two separate occasions and also for Portsmouth.

Everton F.C. Association football club

Everton Football Club is a football club in Liverpool, England, that competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. The club have competed in the top division for a record 116 seasons, missing the top division only four times since The Football League was created in 1888. Everton have won 15 major trophies: the League Championship nine times, the FA Cup five times and the UEFA Cup Winners Cup once.

Srníček played in the UEFA Cup, making a "vital save" from Amara Traoré and keeping a clean sheet as Newcastle beat Metz 2–0 in a December 1996 match in Newcastle, to qualify for the quarter finals of the competition. [9]

Amara Traoré is a retired Senegalese footballer who is currently the head coach of Horoya AC in the Guinée Championnat National.

Banik and Sheffield Wednesday

Srníček returned to Ostrava in 1998, playing six matches in the Czech First League for Baník. [10]

He had a five-day trial with Sheffield Wednesday in October 1998, [11] joining the club soon afterwards. He made his debut for the club at St James' Park in a 1–1 draw against former team Newcastle, [12] standing in for injured goalkeeper Kevin Pressman. [13] On 18 December 1999 in a league match against Aston Villa Srníček saved two penalties, one from Dion Dublin and one from Paul Merson, however Wednesday still ended up losing 2-1. [14] He played for Wednesday for the last time in March 2000, [15] leaving the club in June 2000 under the Bosman ruling, after the club was relegated from the Premier League. [16]


Srníček joined Italian club Brescia in July 2000, signing a three-year contract. [17] During a November 2000 league match against Reggina, Srníček was hit by a firework, which caused a stoppage to the game. Other objects were thrown onto the pitch including flares and sticks on numerous occasions, eventually resulting in the decision by referee Pierluigi Collina to abandon the match. [18]

Return to England

Srníček joined newly promoted Premier League side Portsmouth on 1 September 2003 on a free transfer, [19] [20] citing former Newcastle goalkeeper Hislop and Czech teammate Patrik Berger as key influences in his decision. [20] He made his debut for the club in a fourth round League Cup match against South Coast Derby rivals Southampton on 3 December, a 2–0 loss, [15] and made his league debut for the club in a 0–0 draw with Middlesbrough three days later. [21]

Having fallen behind Hislop and Harald Wapenaar in the selection, Srníček joined West Ham United in the First Division on a one-month loan deal on 19 February 2004. [22] After making his debut against rivals Millwall as a substitute for Matthew Etherington on 21 March 2004 in a 4–1 defeat, [23] known as the "Mothers' Day Massacre", [24] at The Den, following the sending-off of first-choice goalkeeper, Stephen Bywater, Srníček moved to West Ham on a free transfer, signing a contract until the end of the season. [25] He started two matches in Bywater's absence, against Derby and Crystal Palace, but the team took just one point from the two games. [26] He played no further games for West Ham and left the club at the end of the season. [23]


Srníček spent the summer of 2004 trialling with Coventry City and later training with Opava. [27] [28] He subsequently headed to Portuguese club S.C. Beira-Mar, for whom he made his debut in September. [29] Beira-Mar finished last in the league and were relegated at the end of the 2004–05 season. [30]

Second spell at Newcastle

Srníček made a return to Newcastle on 29 September 2006, signing a short-term deal until the end of the year as cover for the injured Shay Given. [31] He returned to the pitch on 23 December, [32] when Newcastle defeated Tottenham Hotspur 3–1. He was brought on for Given, who had pulled his groin in the 87th minute, and received a tremendous reception from the Newcastle crowd as he came on. [33] He featured in Newcastle's match against Bolton Wanderers three days later, making his first start for the club since October 1997. [34] Having made two appearances for Newcastle during his initial three-month period, his contract was extended until the end of the 2006–07 season. [35] He was released by Newcastle in May 2007, [36] having played no further games for the club. [37]

International career

Srníček went to Euro 1996, but was reserve goalkeeper behind Petr Kouba. [38] Following the tournament, he played 15 consecutive matches for his native Czech Republic, establishing himself as first-choice goalkeeper. [38] He was first choice at the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup, in which the Czechs came third.

Srníček played in all three of the Czech Republic's matches at Euro 2000. [39] He made a number of saves in his team's opening match against the Netherlands, although he was unable to stop a late penalty as Frank De Boer scored the only goal of the game in the 89th minute. [40]

Srníček retired from international football in November 2001, following his nation's failure to qualify for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. [41] He finished his international career with a total of 49 senior appearances between 1994 and 2001. [42]

Coaching career

Srníček began the Srníček school of goalkeeping in Czech Republic offering youngsters from around the world the opportunity to learn from his coaching. He was also involved in a number of charity organisations. [43]

On 4 January 2012, Sparta Prague confirmed the appointment of Srníček to their coaching staff. [44]

Outside football

Srníček was the son of a woodcutter. His working life started with a period of service in the Czechoslovak People's Army. [2] In December 2015, he returned to Tyneside to promote his autobiography, Pavel is a Geordie. [45]

He suffered a cardiac arrest while out jogging on 20 December 2015, and was put into an induced coma at a hospital in his native Ostrava. [45] He died nine days later, when his life support was turned off due to irreversible brain damage. [46] Srníček's funeral was held in his hometown on 4 January 2016, mourners included his Newcastle understudy Steve Harper and Czech teammate Pavel Nedvěd. [47]

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