MANCHESTER UNITED won a charity match in memory of Liam Miller this afternoon, as a host of former club and country teammates gathered in honour of the late star.
Meanwhile Miller’s former United and Ireland teammate John O’Shea earlier penned a moving tribute to the Corkman, who packed “so much living into his life”.
The United Legends team won 3-2 on penalties against a combined Celtic and Ireland side at Páirc Ui Chaoimh in Cork after the game finished 2-2 after normal time.
Irwin rolls back years
A Denis Irwin penalty and a Louis Saha strike gave United a 2-0 lead before Celtic & Ireland halved the deficit through Robbie Keane just before the break.
Colin Healy equalised for the hosts in the second half but United won on penalties after misses from Keane, Andy Reid and Ian Harte in the shootout.
👍Fantastic turn-out for #LiamMillerTribute match!
👏🏻 Kudos to the supporters, organising committee, players & staff, and all the volunteers who made it happen
A fitting tribute for a special person & player! pic.twitter.com/M2cBMtXa0N
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) September 25, 2018
Proceeds from the sold out fixture at the 45,000-capacity venue will go towards Miller’s family and several charities, including the Marymount Hospice in Cork.
The midfielder died of cancer in February at the age 36, leaving behind a wife and three children.
Ahead of the game, O’Shea paid tribute to his friend, saying that despite his quiet demeanour, Miller was a great presence in the dressing room.
“The fact that he left us so young is obviously an unbelievable tragedy – it’s impossible to get your head around the fact that he’s no longer with us – but let me tell you, he managed to pack so much living into his life,” O’Shea told ManUtd.com.
'Great fun to be around'
He added: “There’s a perception that Liam was always a quiet lad, but he had the type of persona that people outside looking in wouldn’t have been able to understand.
“In the dressing room he was very lively, great fun to be around, whether with club or country.”
O’Shea described Miller as a ‘top professional’ saying his fitness and energy levels were impeccable, which made his death all the harder to comprehend.
Really enjoyed the game to pay tribute to Liam Miller. Want to thank all the fans who turned up to support his family. It s was by far the biggest ever pitch I played or seen. Twice the… https://t.co/kzV1gjMcmo
— Louis Saha (@louissaha) September 25, 2018
However he said the match was a fitting testament to the former Celtic, Manchester United, Leeds and Sunderland player.
“Obviously we’d all rather this match didn’t have to take place and we’d rather have Liam with us, but in the circumstances it’s a great thing to be happening,” said O’Shea.
“The turnout on and off the pitch will show how much Liam was liked and I hope [his wife] Clare, the kids and all the family will realise that when they see this match.
“It will, of course, be a sad day, but it’s really something to cherish.
“They’ll all see how highly thought of he was.”
Both of my shirts from the Liam Miller benefit match today.. going to auction them off signed and will give proceeds to the beneficiaries Liam miller’s family. What a day 👏🏻 pic.twitter.com/3ssM5UI5rT
— John Hartson (@JohnHartson10) September 25, 2018