He was remembered as a family man above all else. Remembered for his life off the pitch, rather than on it.
“Liam Miller a decent man. Liam Miller an honest man. Liam Miller a humble man. Liam Miller a gas man. Liam Miller a sportsman,” his brother-in-law, Dan Sheedy, told the church during a hugely emotional eulogy.
“But I’d like to think by now you’d have figured out the true way to remember Liam Miller - Liam Miller was a family man. The loss of the best is the worst.”
The former Republic of Ireland, Celtic, Manchester United, and Cork City player died on Friday at the age of 36. Mourners heard how he fought with a “fierce determination” against oesophageal cancer for the sake of his family.
“Liam attacked his condition with a ferocity and a determination to survive it that is impossible to comprehend unless you saw it.
“Liam was different. His motivation to survive wasn’t for him. Liam’s motivation, as it has always been, was for others and specifically for his family. Liam wanted to survive for his family. They are all that mattered to him.”
Requiem Mass was held in the Church of St John the Baptist, where Mr Miller was baptised and confirmed, across the road from where he went to school.
Household names from the world of football turned out to pay their respects to the 36-year-old father of three.
The Ireland management team of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane were present, as were former national team managers Brian Kerr and Steve Staunton.
Former teammates of Miller’s in attendance included John O’Shea, Aiden McGeady, Kevin Doyle, Colin Healy, Shaun Maloney, and past and present members of the Cork City squad.
Former Manchester United defender Denis Irwin was also present amongst the mourners, as was FAI CEO John Delaney and aides de camp for the Taoiseach and President.
The funeral Mass followed weekend tributes to Miller from across football. Both Celtic and Manchester United wore black armbands in Miller’s memory during their respective matches over the weekend, while Celtic’s fierce rivals Rangers paid tribute, and the clubs he played for in Australia also remembered their former player.
Sunday’s President’s Cup tie between Cork City and Dundalk was preceded by a minute’s silence, and a round of applause was held in the 22nd minute in recognition of the number he wore during his time at Turner’s Cross.
He was buried in the adjoining cemetery following yesterday’s Mass.
He is survived by his wife Clare, children Kory, Leo, and Belle and parents Billy and Bridie.
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