Former Republic of Ireland international Graham Barrett believes that today’s tribute match for his former team-mate Liam Miller will bring comfort to his family.
A Manchester United legends team will take on a Celtic and Ireland team at Páirc Uí Chaoimh today in memory of Miller, who represented all three sides as a player.
The sold-out game will raise funds for the family of Miller, who died from cancer last February at the age of 36, and for local charities.
Barrett, who played with Miller as a youth international in Brian Kerr’s UEFA European Under-16 Championship winning squad in 1998 where the two became close, admits that it will be an emotional day for the family and friends of Miller.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport, he said: "Myself and Liam got to know each other during the European Championships in 1998 with Brian Kerr’s squad and we roomed together and became close from there on in.
"Liam would be like family to me and his family would be like family to my family so it’s a very special day and I’m hoping it all goes well.
"His family have been humbled by the outpouring of support by everybody. It’s obviously a very difficult time, to lose Liam so young. It’s great for the kids to be able to see so many people turn out for their dad today and reinforce in them how special a guy he was.
45,000 people are expected at Páirc Uí Chaoimh today and while Barrett is candid in his grief over his friend’s passing, he admits that the preparations for this afternoon’s game have helped.
"Nothing can fix what happened, Liam is gone and the family and everyone else who loved him is still grieving but certainly this has given everybody something to focus on.
"We can enjoy today and the family can enjoy today and it means the world to them that everyone has show so much support.
"We’ll look towards today and enjoy today and hopefully everyone has a great day."
People of Cork. These lads have been in full time training. Expect them to be as good as they were at their peak and don’t accept any less. pic.twitter.com/fONIrmcHRy— Andy Mitten (@AndyMitten) September 25, 2018