Former Republic of Ireland player Liam Miller dies after battle with cancer

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Former Republic of Ireland midfielder Liam Miller has died aged 36, his first club Celtic have announced.

Miller, who also counts Manchester United, Leeds and Sunderland among his former sides, had been suffering from cancer.

Celtic tweeted: “Everyone at #CelticFC is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former midfielder Liam Miller. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time. RIP Liam, YNWA.”

Reports emerged in November that Miller had been battling pancreatic cancer and was receiving treatment in the United States, where he played for Wilmington Hammerheads.

Wilmington, who Miller played for in 2016, were the last of 12 clubs that the Cork-born midfielder represented during a 16-year career that took him around the world.

He made his professional debut for Celtic in 2000 after coming through the youth ranks at Parkhead and helped them win the Scottish Premier League title in 2004.

He then moved south to Manchester United on a free transfer, making 22 appearances under Sir Alex Ferguson in two seasons – which included a spell on loan at Leeds – before joining Sunderland in 2006.

Soccer – Friendly – Preston North End v Manchester United – Deepdale
Miller joined Manchester United from Celtic in 2004 (Mike Egerton/Empics)

Miller was part of the Black Cats’ squad that won promotion to the Premier League in 2007 but he was on the move again in 2009, this time to QPR.

A short spell at Loftus Road was followed by stints at Hibernian, Australian clubs Perth Glory, Brisbane Roar and Melbourne City, home-town club Cork City and, most recently, Wilmington.

Miller won 21 caps for the Republic of Ireland after making his debut in 2004.

Celtic announced that a minute’s silence would be held before their Scottish Cup tie with Partick Thistle on Saturday, and said the team would wear black armbands as a tribute to Miller.

The side were among several of the player’s former clubs who tweeted their condolences on Friday night.

Leeds wrote: “Everyone at Leeds United are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former #LUFC midfielder Liam Miller. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Leeds also added a video of Miller scoring the winner in a dramatic 4-3 victory over Southampton in 2005.

Sunderland did likewise, tweeting both their condolences and also a clip of Miller in action in a 2007 match against Derby, where he scored another late winner.

The Championship club wrote: “We are saddened to hear this evening that former #SAFC midfielder Liam Miller has passed away. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”

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