Former Celtic and Manchester United player Liam Miller laid to rest

John Caulfield

Among the items brought up during the offertory were the jerseys of Manchester United, Celtic and Ireland, as well as a framed photo of the Ovens National School team that Liam captained to Sciath na Scol title.

Among deeply moving tributes at his funeral mass in rural Ireland, including that he achieved the rarest feat of living his dreams, one message that stood out was that he was a sportsman with decency, humour, honesty, integrity and humility.

Miller passed away on Friday aged 36 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

The requiem mass is taking place at the Church of St John the Baptist in Ovens, Co Cork.

Roy Keane, Martin O'Neill, Steve Staunton, Denis Irwin, John O'Shea and Kevin Doyle were among those in attendance.

After two years at Old Trafford, including a loan spell with Leeds United, he left for Sunderland before heading north of the border to play for Hibs.

Fr O hIci paid tribute to Mr Miller's fighting spirit: "Liam fought his illnesses with the same resilience he played, but it was not to be".

"He gave every ounce of himself to his children".

Celtic players wore black armbands in Mr Miller's memory during their William Hill Scottish Cup match against Partick Thistle on Saturday.

"There was never a father like Liam", Mr Sheedy told the mourners.

"Liam attacked his condition with a ferocity and a determination to survive it that is impossible to comprehend unless you saw it", he said.

In a eulogy, Mr McStay, who supervised Liam's arrival in Glasgow as a talented schoolboy, said: "Nothing seemed to faze him". Liam's motivation, as it has always been, was for others and specifically for his family.

After leaving United in 2006, Miller later cited then-manager Sir Alex Ferguson as one of his biggest influences in football, alongside his family and Martin O'Neill. Liam wanted to survive for his family.

"Liam Miller a decent man", he said.

"As president of Ireland I send my condolences to his family and friends, and to all those who love and support Irish sport and who will keenly feel his loss".

Scotland pundit Tam McManus tweeted on Friday: "I'm afraid it is true that Liam Miller has sadly passed away today".

Celtic was his first port of call as a professional and the Bhoys were out in force, including former team-mates Shaun Maloney, Aiden McGeady, Stephen McManus and John Kennedy - who is now a coach under Brendan Rodgers, legendary right-back Danny McGrain and Willie Stay.

He was a family man who was "utterly besotted" with his wife Clare and the couple's three young children, according to his brother-in-law Brian Sheedy.

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