Tuesday 21 May 2019

Alex Ferguson pays the late Liam Miller a glowing tribute and expresses 'considerable disappointment' in missing charity game

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Former Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson has expressed his disappointment in missing out on attending today's Liam Miller charity game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Ferguson made his long-awaited return to the stands at Old Trafford on Saturday after he suffered  brain haemorrhage back in May but is unable to make the trip to Cork today.

The Scot has played a big role in the organisation of today's event and paid tribute to Miller in the official match programme.

"It is with reluctance and considerable disappointment that I will not bew in Cork for today's tributes to our former player at Manchester United, Liam Miller. Circumstances and advice from those who know better than I has decreed that I stay put," Ferguson wrote.

"Liam was a United player in the 2004-05 season, and he didn't let us down.

"He was a popular lad with the players and staff. The number of appearances he made was limited, and not what Liam or I had expected.

"When I went to the Celtic v Anderlecht Champions League tie in Glasgow in November 2003, it was to watch the Belgian defender Vincent Kompany.

"However, my attention soon gravitated to Celtic’s energetic young midfielder, slight of stature but with an assured, calm way about him. What I witnessed was a player with a tremendous set of midfield fundamentals — his movement off the ball, his penetration of the Anderlecht midfield.

"I came away smitten by his performance, not least the timing of his runs. Leaving Parkhead I was totally determined to get Liam Miller to Manchester United.

"There has always been a great relationship between United and Celtic and our interest, and my pursuit of Liam did bring about a short period of unease and discontent between the two clubs. Fortunately that was shortlived.

"Miller the man flourished at United. He was a wonderful young lad, with humility and manners admired by myself and all at the club.

"It brought a collective thought process that we should help him play more, so we loaned him out to Leeds United. Thereafter he enjoyed a good career in England, Scotland and further afield.

"Liam Miller’s legacy as a human being was that he was totally liked by everyone for his quiet, endearing nature.

"I wish his lovely family every strength and happiness in the future."

A sell-out crowd of 45,000 is expected to attend today's game.

Online Editors

The Throw-In: Limerick’s uphill task, Tipp’s ruthlessness and can Cork push on?

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport