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Liam Miller tribute match raises €1.5 million

Stars gathered last month to celebrate the life of the late former Ireland international.

Liam Miller (file pic).
Liam Miller (file pic).
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

A TOTAL OF €1.5 million in funding was raised from the Liam Miller Tribute Match, the event’s organisers have confirmed.

The match in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on 25 September saw a number of former Ireland, Celtic and Manchester United stars come together to compete in the honour of the Cork native, who tragically passed away last February at the age of 36 having been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Members of the event’s organising committee, led by Chairman Michael O’Flynn, made the announcement today at the Lord Mayor’s office in City Hall, Cork.  

Details of how the money will be distributed were also shared.

  • €1m has been put into a Trust for Liam Miller’s family
  • €250k will be donated to Marymount Hospice, Cork, where Liam received end-of-life care
  • €100k will be donated to The Jack O’Driscoll Fund (Jack O’Driscoll is a young man from Mayfield in Cork who was left paralysed following a freak accident during Storm Emma earlier this year.  Jack was involved in Hurling and Football with Mayfield GAA club in Cork City and also St Mary’s AFC in Cork)
  • €35k will be donated to Mercy University Hospital Foundation
  • €35k will be donated to the Oesophageal Cancer Fund
  • €20k each will be donated to Enable Ireland, Cork Simon Community, Cork Penny Dinners and Down Syndrome Cork

Part of a statement read: “The organisers would like to sincerely thank all who supported the event and made it such a memorable occasion.  Sincere thanks also to all of Liam Miller’s former team-mates from the Republic of Ireland, Manchester United, Celtic and Cork City football teams who came to Páirc Uí Chaoimh and paid such a wonderful tribute to Liam Miller on the field of play. 

Very special thanks go to the managers of the two sides on the day, Martin O’Neill, who led the Republic of Ireland/Celtic squad, and Roy Keane, who was also a member of the organising committee, and performed the role of player/manager of the Manchester United squad on the day.  Special thanks also to Celtic player Scott Brown’s testimonial committee who made a significant donation to the fund.

“The organisers also wish to thank the GAA who generously gave the use of Páirc Uí Chaoimh, as well as the Lord Mayor, Cllr Mick Finn and the members of Cork City council, and the Cork-based TDs who supported the event and helped to make it such a great success. 

“The benefit match was the brainchild of a number of key figures from the world of business and sport, including chairman of the organising committee, Michael O’Flynn, who is a neighbour of the Miller family, Sir Alex Ferguson, Roy Keane, Martin O’Neill, John O’Shea, Graham Barrett, Ciaran Medlar, Ger Gilroy, Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell, Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward and Denis O’Brien amongst many others.

Nicky Butt with Roy Keane Manchester United's Nicky Butt with Roy Keane during the Liam Miller tribute match. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Chair of the committee, Michael O’Flynn, a neighbour and friend of Liam’s, said, “This was such a wonderful occasion for the people of Cork and sports fans throughout Ireland who attended an event that brought some very famous footballing stars to Cork. It was indeed both celebratory and poignant, saluting the achievements of one of Cork’s sporting heroes, who sadly lost his battle with cancer earlier this year.

We are so grateful to everyone who supported the event by buying tickets or attending the dinner in City Hall, your support was truly phenomenal. We are delighted to have achieved this level of fundraising, and are pleased to donate funds to the various charities as a result. We would like to acknowledge everyone who helped bring the game about including John Delaney and the FAI, Sir Alex Ferguson, John O’Shea, John Caulfield, Cork City FC, as well as the GAA and Cork County Board for accommodating the game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. The Miller family are humbled by the events and the outpouring of support from the people of this country, and supporters from further afield.”

Roy Keane, said: “Everyone involved in the game is delighted with the amount raised, which will benefit so many people. The response from the public towards the Miller family is truly amazing.”

Clare and the Miller family said: “We feel truly blessed and grateful. We would like to thank everyone involved from the bottom of our hearts. The love and support you have shown will always be remembered and treasured by us.”

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Paul Fennessy

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