Thursday, 22 February, 2018

Martin O'Neill joins mourners at Liam Miller's funeral

Taken far too early Liam Miller in action for Ireland at Lansdowne Road. The midfielder won a total of 21 caps Taken far too early Liam Miller in action for Ireland at Lansdowne Road. The midfielder won a total of 21 caps
Lucia Summers | 15 February, 2018, 15:03

Parish priest in Ovens Fr Liam Hickey said Miller lived the dream of every young boy who has put on a football jersey.

Miller is survived by his wife Clare and his three children Kory, Leo and Belle.

"Liam fought his illness with the same resilience with which he played", he said.

The requiem mass took place at the Church of St. John the Baptist in Ovens, Co Cork, and was followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery.

Former Celtic player and Scotland worldwide Willie McStay said when Miller made his debut for the club he was composed, calm and assured from the start.

"He was a small little lad in the middle of the field with good passing ability and great energy, but he also had determination and grace about him that meant you wanted to have him in your squad", he said.

It was as a husband to Claire and a father of three that Liam Miller is best remembered among those who new him best.

Among the mourners were Ireland manager Martin O'Neill, assistant Roy Keane and Miller's former global teammates John O'Shea, Kevin Doyle and Aiden McGeady.

Former Celtic teammates Shaun Maloney and Aiden McGeady were also at the funeral along, of course, with scores of Miller's friends and family.

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Willie McStay, a legendary Celtic figure, and former Head of Youth at the club spoke to the congregation and said he will always remember "that wee boy who never gave the ball away and could run all day". Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin also attended.

Wreaths were presented from former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and his wife, Cathy, as well as the Old Trafford club.

"We express our sympathy to his family and thank God for the life he loved to live and into which he packed so much".

"Liam had a great career and has a reputation for being a quite lad who didn't seek out the attention and I hope he now gets the credit he deserves to plotting a route down a very hard road to emerge from an area of Cork where GAA dominates to play for some of the biggest teams in world football".

"There was never a father like Liam", Mr Sheedy told the mourners.

He was also a great son and brother as well as a great friend to so many at home and overseas.

Miller grew up in Ovens, and although he played Gaelic football, his real passion was soccer, with a fondness for Celtic taken from his father Billy, a Scotsman from Motherwell.

Former Republic player and manager Steve Staunton was another who attended the funeral mass.

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