Manchester United win Liam Miller Tribute Match after penalty shootout

A crowd of 42,878 fans saw a Manchester United selection defeat a Celtic and Ireland selection 3-2 on penalties in Liam Miller's tribute game at Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

Dion Dublin scored the winning penalty after both Roy and Robbie Keane missed spot kicks.

The Celtic and Ireland eleven came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with the Manchester United selection in normal time.

Local native Denis Irwin scored the opening goal from the penalty spot, so that's a landmark for the history books.

Louis Saha added United's second.

Robbie Keane scored the Celtic and Ireland goal, with Corkman Colin Healy grabbing a late equaliser.

Roy Keane came on for United in the second half.

Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, John O'Shea, Damien Duff, Kevin Kilbane and Richard Dunne also graced the Pairc Ui Chaoimh sod.

Earlier: Former Manchester United star Ryan Giggs paid tribute to Liam Miller ahead of yesterday’s tribute game, describing the Cork native as “a quiet lad but talented”.

By Michael Moynihan and Joe Leogue

“A good player, he had a good career at Celtic and then came down to us at United,” said Giggs.

A quiet lad but talented - as the others have said, this is a great occasion for his family and it shows how football comes together at a time like this. We’re all looking forward to what should be a great occasion.

Pressed for an opinion on who the best player is now among his contemporaries, Giggs was diplomatic.

“I don’t know, we’ve all changed shapes and sizes over the last few years,” said the Welsh manager.

“But you see that there are certain things you don’t lose. There’s still talent. We may not be able to get up the field as quick . . . maybe I’ll tell who’s the best after the game.”

Promising to take a penalty if his side were 3-0 up, Giggs paid tribute to another Corkman who lined out for Manchester United, Denis Irwin.

Giggs pointed out that Irwin’s support had been crucial for him starting off at Old Trafford: “Especially for me, early in my career as a young left-winger, to have Denis, with the experience he had behind me.

“He was just a brilliant footballer - so consistent, and had that little bit extra, too. He could score goals from penalties and free kicks as well. A great guy, and for me he was a big help, particularly early in my career.

It was always a good dressing-room to come into, it was competitive and you had to raise your standards quickly, but it was good to come into, whether you were talking to Roy (Keane), who was very vocal, or Paul Scholes, who led by example.

“There were different people to look up to, whether they were in your position or people you connected with.”

Today’s tribute game made everyone “appreciate” their own position in life, he said.

“To do something you’d have done anyway as a job, you know you’re fortunate. You see ex-teammates with bad injuries who’ve had to retire early, and worse, it’s at moments like this you appreciate how lucky you are.

“I think everyone in the dressing-room shares that emotion.”

Meanwhile, Liam Miller's former Celtic tammate John Hartson has recalled his final conversation with the Cork native before his death last February following his cancer battle.

Hartson - who himself has suffered cancer in the past - was speaking ahead of today's sell-out Tribute match for Miller at Pairc Ui Chaomh.

"I managed to speak to him about two or three weeks before he passed. He actually sounded quite ready for a challenge, he knew he had a fight on his hands, and then sadly I got the call to say he had passed," Hartson said before the game between a Manchester United XI and an Ireland/Celtic selection.

"Cancer doesn’t discriminate. Anybody can get cancer at any time, and it was one of those very unfortunate illnesses that has taken another young man," Hartson said.

He also recalled how, as a youth player, Liam was chosen to train with the senior Celtic team.

Straight away you could tell he was very comfortable in that environment at the higher level and he played in some very big games for us. I would have obviously loved to have played with him a little bit longer, but no disrespect to Martin, when Sir Alex Ferguson phones you up, a man of his calibre, it’s very difficult for Liam to turn Manchester United down," he said.

"He was quite unassuming. He was very quiet, but he did his talking on the pitch. It’s a real honour to have been asked to come over to play my own personal respects to him on what should be a wonderful occasion. It’s a celebration of Liam’s life and that’s how it should be seen."

Earlier: Fans have been arriving to Pairc Ui Chaoimh in their droves this Tuesday afternoon as kick-off approaches in the Liam Miller Tribute Match.

Ahead of what promises to be a fabulous afternoon of football, and a fitting tribute to the memory of Cork man Miller, there will be 45,000 people at the home of Cork GAA for the clash.

Sylvia and Owen O'Sullivan from Blackrock

John Bartlett, Cian Lynch, Michael Foy, Sean McCarthy and Paul Bartlett, Ringaskiddy, Cork at the Liam Miller tribute match at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

People arriving at the Liam Miller tribute match at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

Billy, Dillon and Martin Stuart with Breda and Sean O’Regan, Passage West at the Liam Miller tribute match at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

Michael O’Sullivan, Mallow with Alan Mitchell at the Liam Miller tribute match at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

Earlier: Martin O'Neill and John Hartson have been speaking ahead of kick-off in Pairc Ui Chaoimh as excitement builds on Leeside ahead of the Liam Miller Tribute Match.

O'Neill poking, fun at the retired professionals taking part, joked that the players would give it their all "for the first three minutes."

Hartson, who is a cancer survivor recalled the moment he learned of Miller's passing: "Sadly, I got the call to say he had passed, it was very sad.

"Cancer, it doesn't discriminate. Anybody can get cancer, anytime. It was very, very unfortunate that it has taken another young man.

He was very quiet, he did his talking on the pitch. It was an honour for me to be asked to come over to pay my own personal respects to him on what should be a wonderful occasion, " Hartson added.

Earlier: The family of the late Liam Miller have thanked the public for their support following the "sadness" and "heartbreak" they have endured since the passing of the footballer and father of three.

By Olivia Kelleher

In a statement in the souvenir match programme the Miller family, led by his wife Clare, said the "outpouring of support and heartfelt concern" had helped them through the dark days since his passing just eight months ago.

Today's events are an example of the incredible support, concern and care. We will always be thankful and indebted to those special people who made this huge undertaking happen. The organising committee worked tirelessly to ensure this day would take place. The astounding support from the public is both humbling and uplifting.

In a statement signed by his wife Clare, children Kory Leo and Belle and his parents Billy and Bridie the Miller's said the support for the event was difficult to absorb.

"All over the country Liam's tribute event has been supported on a scale which is difficult to comprehend, that is especially so in his home town and county of Cork. The fact that this memorable event is held in the home place, which was so special to him, makes this day all the more special to us."

The Miller's said they feel "truly blessed" by the response.

"Many of the players lining out today have travelled considerable distances to do so as have those who purchased tickets and for that we are deeply touched. Once again we thank everyone involved in this extra special day for their time and energy for making it a success and a day we will remember for a long time."

Earlier: All the sights and sounds as Cork pays tribute to Liam Miller

A late call-up for Ballincollig's Mark McNulty meant that Liam Miller's former underage team-mate will take part in the tribute match in honour of the former Manchester United and Celtic midfielder.

Due to the unavailability of former Northern Ireland and Man United goalkeeper Roy Carroll, McNulty will join former Ballincollig and City team-mate of Miller’s, Colin Healy, on the field in Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

Early this morning, legends of the game were arriving Leeside for the match, which has a 3pm kick-off at the home of Cork GAA.

There won't just be well-known faces on the field as Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane are in charge of the respective Celtic/Republic of Ireand and Manchester United teams, with Mike Phelan, who was Alex Ferguson's right-hand man from 2008 until his retirement, will serve as assistant manager for the United selection.

From early in the morning, there have been crowds gathering around Cork city in anticipation of the match.

Speaking ahead of the game, Miller's former Sunderland team-mate David Meyler spoke of his pride in Cork and how the people made sure it would be a huge event

He said: "What gives me great pride and satisfaction is knowing that the people of Cork have pulled together and obviously have gone to extreme lengths to make this what it should be.

"There are people coming from everywhere and it is fantastic to see. I hope it is as great an occasion as Liam was as a person because he deserves it and his family deserves it.

Ireland's top ever goalscorer Robbie Keane added: "It's obviously sad of course with the circumstances but it just goes to show what football can do, it can bring everyone together.

"(He was) such a lovely fella so anything we can do to help his family and his kids is great."

At lunchtime, fans were beginning to arrive at the stadium in anticipation of the game.

We are gearing up for the Liam Miller tribute match today, where Manchester Untied take on Celtic/Republic of Ireland. Click here to receive your free digital download of the souvenir match programme.

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