Keane: Hopefully this great occasion was a big boost for the Miller family

Keane: Hopefully this great occasion was a big boost for the Miller family
Celtic & Ireland's Colin Healy and Roy Keane of Manchester United clash in the Páirc. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

WHILE for many at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Tuesday, it was about paying tribute to Liam Miller by watching nearly 40 past greats, Roy Keane was sure to remember the midfielder’s family.

Manchester United’s player-manager for the day, who came on after an hour along with Mark McNulty, acknowledged that the event wouldn’t ease any pain but felt it was important to show how the people felt about the Ovens native.

“Hopefully it’s a big boost for the family,” he said, “Liam’s wife and his kids and his mam and dad and the rest of his family, hopefully they can come down here and get a big boost.

“When you see the reaction from everyone in Cork to Liam – obviously it’s not going to fix everything but hopefully it will make them feel a little bit better when they see what people think about Liam. And that’s the whole idea behind the game.”

Keane had never played a game in the old Páirc Uí Chaoimh, but he had taken part in the primary school sports when he was a pupil in St John’s.

“It didn’t go too well,” he said.

“I know there was a big reaction when we maybe couldn’t get it when we first asked, but I think players are looking forward to it and it all adds to the occasion, makes it even more special.

“I have been coming down to the Páirc for many years watching the football and hurling and one or two concerts and the fact we’re having a game of soccer here is great, it really adds to it.”

Members of the Miller family lead the teams out. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Members of the Miller family lead the teams out. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Keane also pointed out that Liam Miller’s qualities of humility and modesty shouldn’t be taken as anything negative as they masked a steel within him.

“Obviously, he was a very good player, who played for United, Celtic, his country,” Keane said.

“A really nice guy, a quiet guy, very humble, but don’t get it wrong, Liam was very quiet but very strong. You don’t get to the top in any sport unless you’ve got good confidence behind you and a lot of determination.

“So when we talk about Liam being quiet, it was a nice quiet. He was no angel but he knew how to play the game and he was a good guy. And we’ve seen that with the reaction over last few months, particularly when the game was announced. It’s been brilliant and I’m sure Liam will be looking down and will be delighted.

“It’s a great occasion for his family and there’s been a great reaction from everyone in Ireland, particularly around Cork. And from the players. It’s just been fantastic."

Roy Keane meets President Michael D Higgins, with Michael O'Flynn, with United's Micky Phelan and Mark McNulty. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Roy Keane meets President Michael D Higgins, with Michael O'Flynn, with United's Micky Phelan and Mark McNulty. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

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