Ireland’s Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) has bowed to pressure and agreed to host a memorial match for former international and premiership footballer Liam Miller’s family.
Organisers had initially been refused permission to hold the fundraising game at Cork’s Pairc Ui Chaoimh because the association’s rules did not allow non-GAA sports at their venues.
As previously reported in The Universe, Miller, a former Republic of Ireland, Celtic, Manchester United and Cork City midfielder, died of cancer on 9th February 2018, aged 36.
Hundreds of mourners at his funeral at St John the Baptist Catholic Church in the village of Ovens, near Ballincollig, heard how Miller was not only going to be remembered for his talent on the pitch, but for being a loving family man.
A benefit match was hoped to be played at the 45,000 capacity GAA stadium in Cork and the association recently faced widespread criticism from across the political and sporting worlds after initially vetoing the 25th September fixture.
The match is to raise money for Miller’s family and charities but had been rescheduled for a much smaller venue.
Pairc Ui Chaoimh’s capacity will increase the funds raised for the family and charitable causes by an estimated two million euro.
On Saturday 28th July the GAA’s central council announced its re-think.
In a tweet it confirmed: ‘The Liam Miller tribute match will take place at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Tuesday September 25th.’
The charity football match is between a Manchester United legends team managed by Roy Keane and a combined Celtic/Ireland side.
The GAA ban on non-association games being played in its grounds was relaxed in 2007 to allow soccer and rugby at Croke Park while Lansdowne Road football stadium in Dublin was redeveloped.
Picture: Liam Miller. (Niall Carson/PA).