Martin O'Neill remembers Liam Miller's 'magical' Champions League goal for Celtic

Celtic have paid tribute to their former midfielder before today’s Scottish Cup tie against Partick Thistle.

Miller scores against Lyon in 2003.
Miller scores against Lyon in 2003.
Image: PA

MARTIN O’NEILL, THE manager who gave Liam Miller his senior professional debut at Celtic, has paid tribute to the former Ireland midfielder who tragically passed away on Friday.

After coming through the ranks at Celtic, Miller made his first-team debut for O’Neill’s side in 2000 and helped the Scottish club win the league title in 2004.

The Cork native came to prominence during the 2003/2004 Champions League season, with his goals and performances against Lyon and Anderlecht catching the eye of the then Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson.

Remembering Miller’s strike against Lyon in a 2-0 win at Parkhead in September 2003, O’Neill said: ”I remember the impact that Liam had in a big Champions League match against Lyon. We were pressing strongly and trying to find the breakthrough when Liam scored a magical goal that gave us momentum to win the game.

“At the end of that season, Liam moved on to Manchester United but had already made a strong mark at Celtic Park and the players were extremely disappointed to see him go.

“Liam’s passing is very sad and he will be greatly missed. He was an excellent footballer and a fantastic man.”

After making 22 appearances under Ferguson at Old Trafford, a nomadic career took Miller to Sunderland, Queens Park Rangers and Hibernian before a three-year spell in Australia with Perth Glory, Brisbane Roar and Melbourne City.

He returned home in 2015 to join Cork City before a final season with the Hammerheads in 2016.

Celtic v Partick Thistle - William Hill Scottish Cup - Fifth Round - Celtic Park Source: PA Wire/PA Images

FAI CEO John Delaney added: ”It is very upsetting to learn of the passing of Liam Miller at such a young age. I only visited with Liam in Cork very recently and he was still fighting bravely against his illness.

“A gifted midfielder, Liam helped the Ireland Under 16s win the UEFA European Championships in Scotland and went on to forge a fine senior career that saw him pull on the green jersey for Ireland at senior level – and we will all remember his superb goal against Sweden.

“While Liam achieved a lot as a player, he still had a lot more to give and that is the most tragic aspect of his passing. We send our deepest condolences to Liam’s family at this difficult time.”

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Ahead of their Scottish Cup clash with Partick Thistle, Celtic paid an emotional tribute to their former midfielder at Parkhead, where the flags are flying at half mast.

On BT Sport, one of Miller’s former team-mates at Man United, Rio Ferdinand, paid tribute ahead of the North London derby.

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‘It was an honour to share a dressing room with you’ – Tributes flow for former Ireland midfielder Liam Miller

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