Funeral for ex-Celtic and Hibs midfielder Liam Miller held

Funeral for ex-Celtic and Hibs midfielder Liam Miller held

FORMER Man Utd and Celtic footballer Liam Miller's funeral has taken place today after the star's tragic cancer death on Friday.

Mourners heard how Liam's father Billy called him "my little Stanley Matthews".

Miller's former Republic team-mates Kevin Doyle and Aiden McGeady also attended.

"It's just terrible. They've had to look at Liam and mind him and care for him over the last few months since he came back from America, knowing he probably hadn't a very good long term future". Liam's motivation, as it has always been, was for others and specifically for his family. "They are all that mattered to him".

Fr Hickey added: "Liam fought his illness with the same resilience with which he played".

"Liam became a favourite of the Celtic support.and he fulfilled his boyfriend dream of playing for the two clubs he loved as a boy (Celtic and Manchester United)".

"Liam used his talents to the full in such a short time".

"And through that he gave so much joy to people". There was never a father like him, he gave every bit of himself to his children.

Among them were a number of high-profile former Celtic staff and players - including ex player Shaun Maloney.

Ireland's assistant manager Roy Keane was among the sports fans, friends and neighbours who paid their respects to Liam and his family.

Celtic players wore black armbands in Mr Miller's memory during their Scottish Cup victory over Partick Thistle on Saturday.

Wayne Rooney, who joined Manchester United the same year as Liam said "I am gutted by the news of his death".

Beckham posted: "Our thoughts are with Liam's family".

After two years at Old Trafford, including a loan spell with Leeds United, he left for Sunderland before heading north of the border to play for Hibs. "We extend our condolences to his loved ones at this extremely hard time".

Manchester United wore black armbands for their clash with Newcastle yesterday in his memory.

O'Neill, who gave Miller his Celtic debut, said: "Liam's passing is very sad and he will be greatly missed. He was an excellent footballer and a fantastic man".

President Michael D Higgins who said Liam "brought skill and passion to the game" is expected to be represented at tomorrow's funeral, as is Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

He said: "In his too short life he contributed so much, from his making his professional debut in 2000 and earning his first cap for the Republic of Ireland in 2004, going on to play for clubs such as Cork City, Celtic, Manchester United and Hibernian".

His Requiem Mass takes place tomorrow at 11.30am. It will be followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery.

Also in attendance was Fianna Fáil leader Michael Martin, developer Michael O'Flynn and the Bishop of Cork and Ross, Dr John Buckley.

The players and officials of the club are expected to form a guard of honour tomorrow at Liam's funeral which is expected to be attended by well-known names in the Irish sporting world including top officials from the FAI, O'Neill and Keane.

The former Celtic and Manchester United player died on Friday at the age of 36 after suffering from cancer.

Miller grew up in Ovens, Co.

Ahead of the funeral, Cork City manager John Caulfield encouraged local people to turn out in force as a show of support.

Roy Keane and Neil Lennon at the removal of Liam Miller in Ballincollig last night.

Former Scotland global and mentor at Celtic Willie McStay paid tribute to the ex footballer.

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