Ireland captain David Meyler and manager Martin O’Neill have sent the support and best wishes of the entire squad to Corkman Liam Miller as he battles pancreatic cancer.
The footballing world has been shocked since news broke of the 36-year-old’s illness. Liam lived in the US with his wife and children since 2016 but has returned to Cork in recent days.
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill, who gave Liam his big break with Celtic in 2000, said the news ‘put things in perspective’ while Meyler said the whole squad was thinking of Miller.
“We heard the news, our thoughts go out to him and his family,” Mr Meyler said.
“We’re just thinking about him and we just hope he can pull through and he’s strong. That’s from the whole team and everyone.”
Mr O’Neill echoed his comments: “We heard about the news recently but we didn’t know how bad it was. All thoughts go out to him and his family.
“I gave him his debut at Celtic. He did wonderfully well in a Champions League game one evening, he was absolutely outstanding.”
After growing up in Ovens, Liam began his career with Celtic under O’Neill before moving to Manchester United in 2004. Both clubs have wished their former player well.
The Manchester club shared a picture of Liam online and said: “The thoughts of everyone at Manchester United go out to Liam Miller and his loved ones at this difficult time”.
He also played with Leeds United, Sunderland and Hibernian. Later in his career, after spending time at a number of clubs in Australia’s A-League, he signed with Cork City for a season in 2015.
The Cork club said: “The thoughts of everyone at Cork City FC are with our former player, Liam Miller, and his family at this time”.
Many former teammates have expressed their sadness at the news and wished Liam and those around him all the best.
John Hartson, who played with Liam at Celtic and had his own battle with cancer a number of years ago, said: “My thoughts are with Liam Miller and his family this morning. Hope he can get through this difficult time of his life.”
Liam made 21 senior international appearances, as well as representing the Republic of Ireland at U16, U18, U20 and U21 level.
A number of former Irish internationals also added their best wishes.
Liam grew up in Ovens and played with Éire Óg and Ballincollig. His parents and extended family still live in the area.
This article first appeared in the Evening Echo