Saturday 19 January 2019

45,000 fans to pay tribute as Miller match is sold out

Liam Miller died at the age of 36 from cancer this year. Picture: Sportsfile
Liam Miller died at the age of 36 from cancer this year. Picture: Sportsfile

Olivia Kelleher

Páirc Uí Chaoimh will have a full house next month after the organisers of the Liam Miller benefit match confirmed that the fixture is now completely sold out.

Organisers said they are thrilled 45,000 fans will attend the Cork stadium on September 25, when the one-off game between legends from Manchester United and a combined Republic of Ireland-Glasgow Celtic selection will take to the field.

Miller died earlier this year at the age of 36, having played for the teams during his illustrious career.

Michael O'Flynn, chairman of the organising committee, said they were "thrilled" so many people wanted to support the event.

"It's a ringing endorsement of the GAA's decision to donate the use of their stadium and we thank them wholeheartedly. This will be a unique sporting occasion in Cork, not only because of the calibre of the soccer stars who will be taking part, but also because it will feature both soccer and GAA sports at the same time," he said. "It will be a fantastic tribute to Liam Miller who was one of Cork's sporting heroes and a great celebration of sport in Cork."

Mr Flynn said they have received interest from broadcasters about the possibility of televising the fixture.

"I am currently awaiting a decision from Manchester United who have rights over any games like this. I have had a number of approaches. Some are Irish based. More are from the UK side," he said.

Proceeds from the tribute match will be used to help Miller's wife Clare and their three children Kory, Leo and Belle rebuild their lives, with Marymount Hospice among the charities also benefiting.

He died in February having fought a battle against oesophageal cancer.

The Manchester United legends team will include Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs, Louis Saha, Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville and Nicky Butt.

The Celtic/Ireland legends line-up managed by Martin O'Neill will feature among others Robbie Keane, Damien Duff, Neil Lennon, Kevin Kilbane and Richard Dunne.

At a press briefing last week, Roy Keane said it was an opportunity to honour Miller: "Liam is still our team-mate. And that is why the response has been fantastic. We are all looking forward to it."

Irish Independent

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