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Wednesday 14 November 2018

'Class of '92 sure to be shocked by pitch' - Roy

The tribute match for Liam Miller (p) will feature Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Rio Ferdinand. Photo: Sportsfile
The tribute match for Liam Miller (p) will feature Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Rio Ferdinand. Photo: Sportsfile

Stars from Manchester United's legendary "Class of '92" will take part in a tribute match to the late Irish midfielder Liam Miller at Cork's Pairc Ui Chaoimh next month.

Miller, a former Cork City, Ireland, Manchester United and Celtic star, died in February after a brave battle with cancer, leaving wife Clare and their three children.

The match will feature some of the biggest Manchester United stars of the past 30 years, including five members of the "Class of '92" side that won the FA Youth Cup and provided the backbone of the United sides that dominated the 1990s and 2000s.

Former Ireland and Manchester United captain Roy Keane, who played alongside Miller and then signed him for Sunderland, said all the players were really excited about the September 25 clash between a Manchester United XI and an Ireland/Celtic XI.

"I don't think anyone realises quite how big the pitch is down at Pairc Ui Chaoimh," he said.

"They are in for a shock - but the players will really enjoy it. It will be a great occasion," he added.

The line-up has been confirmed for the tribute to the Cork-born father-of-three who lost his brave battle with cancer earlier this year.

Match organiser Michael O'Flynn was joined by Ireland's assistant manager and former Man United captain Keane at a special press conference in Cork to confirm those who would be participating on September 25.

OVERWHELMED

The organisers were overwhelmed by offers of support from the Ireland and Manchester United players, many of whom played alongside Miller.

The Manchester United XI will feature Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Denis Irwin, Rio Ferdinand and Gary Neville.

The Ireland/Celtic side will feature Kevin Kilbane, Richard Dunne, Kenny Cunningham, Keith Andrews, Robbie Keane, Damien Duff, John Hartson, Neil Lennon and Stiliyan Petrov.

Final arrangements are almost complete for the transfer of the match from Turner's Cross to Pairc Ui Chaoimh with an extra 38,000 tickets set to go on sale at 10am on Monday. The difference in potential revenues is now expected to be €2m compared to €350,000.

It was confirmed the GAA is providing the ground for the fundraising soccer match without a rental charge.

Organisers agreed, following representations from clubs and the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Mick Finn, that some tickets will be offered at a special concessionary price of €10 for students and pensioners.

TRANSFERRED

The 7,000 fans who bought the original tickets for Turner's Cross will be transferred to the South Stand in the new €70m Pairc Ui Chaoimh and they will be issued with a replacement pass from Ticketmaster in due course.

Tickets will range from a €10 concessionary ticket and €20 for a terrace pass up to €90 for a premium level ticket.

The match will go ahead along with a special Gaelic games event.

"It was also agreed that the most suitable way to celebrate and recognise Liam's involvement in GAA sport at a juvenile level is to have juvenile exhibition games, in both football and hurling, at half-time involving young boys and girls from Liam's club Eire Og," Mr O'Flynn said.

Proceeds from the day, which is expected to attract a sell-out 45,000 crowd, will go to the Liam Miller fund, Marymount Hospice in Cork and several Cork charities to be nominated by the organisers.

It is expected that these will include charities which work with injured or ill GAA stars.

However, the GAA will not be involved in any aspect of the event's finances.

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