THE 40 players taking to the Páirc Uí Chaoimh pitch to honour Liam Miller’s memory boast total of 1,989 senior international caps for nine different countries.
Interestingly, the regard in which the Ballincollig native is held is illustrated by the fact that some of the United squad – such as Ronny Johnsen, Andy Cole, Dion Dublin and David May – had departed the club before he arrived on a free transfer from Celtic in the summer of 2004.
There will be rolling substitutions – thankfully, reporters won’t be asked to notate the minutes of each change, as is normally the case – but whichever 11 players are on the pitch for United at any time will represent a strong side.
Northern Ireland international Roy Carroll will share the Red Devils’ goalkeeping duties with Kevin Pilkington, while defenders available for them include Gary Neville, Denis Irwin, David May, Rio Ferdinand, Ronny Johnson, Michael Clegg, Wes Brown, John O’Shea and Mikael Silvestre.
Roy Keane will don his famous number 16 shirt again for the first time since his own testimonial when he played a half for United and a half for Celtic, and he will be joined by former midfield partners Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes. With Ryan Giggs also on the list, only David Beckham is missing from the famous midfield which secured the treble for the club in 1999. South African Quinton Fortune and former Leeds United midfielder Alan Smith.
While the fabled Manchester United number 7 shirt won’t be present down the Park, they will have two number 9s – Andy Cole and Louis Saha – with Dion Dublin also likely to lead the line at some point.
For the Celtic/Ireland selection, Colin Healy provides a link to Miller’s season at Cork City in 2015. From 2000-03, they were also at Celtic together and much of the Hoops contingent is from the era when Martin O’Neill guided them to the Uefa Cup final, losing the 2003 final to Porto.
Paul Lambert captained the Bhoys in that famous game in Seville and two of his successors as skipper of the club, Neil Lennon and Stiliyan Petrov, are also part of the panel, as is Swedish defender Johan Mjallby.
Attackers John Hartson and Shaun Maloney will be able to link up with Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle, who will be representing Ireland.
At the other end of the field, David Forde is the goalkeeper for the team in green and white – his last game in Cork was the international friendly against Belarus at Turner’s Cross just before Euro 2016, after which it was revealed that he wasn’t in O’Neill’s squad.
Stephen Carr, Richard Dunne, Kenny Cunningham, Stephen Kelly, Kevin Kilbane and Ian Harte at the defenders, while in midfield there will be a choice of Keith Andrews, Stephen McPhail, Damien Duff, Andy Reid and Healy.