Saturday 17 November 2018

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Roy sees the big picture

Wednesday, 15th August, 2018 4:50pm

 

And it’s a sellout! 

Just a few short days after tickets went back on sale, and despite problems with the purchasing of tickets on tickets.ie, the tribute game for Liam Miller has sold out. 

That’s pretty impressive, given that the game is taking place on a Tuesday afternoon in September, when people would normally be at work and at school. 

Roy Keane has been one of the driving forces behind the game, publicising it and asking former teammates to turn out for the game. He has been vital to the whole endeavour. 

Listening to him speak on Newstalk’s ‘Off The Ball AM’ on Monday, there was a feeling that the death of 36 year old former Irish international Liam Miller had profoundly affected him. 

He played with Miller at Manchester United and bought and managed him at Sunderland. 

He’s never been one to seek publicity but he’s been front and centre in promoting the game and making sure it happened. Along with the rest of the organisers, including Michael O’Flynn, he has ensured its now guaranteed success - no mean feat. 

Selling out a friendly on a Tuesday afternoon in September between players who are largely long-retired is good going. 

And during that interview he mentioned that Alex Ferguson had been due to manage the Manchester United team (although his recent health problems put paid to that). If Liam Miller’s death put an end to their long-running feud, that that is another sign that Keane may have recognised that life is more important than some things. 

The way he described he, getting his ex-teammates to play was an easy sell. 

“All the players that I got in touch with at United were very quick to get back to me and were very happy to commit to the game. They have a lot of respect for Liam and they were delighted to get involved in, I suppose, they want to respect him and obviously celebrate his career and life.” 

“The sadness will always be there when someone dies so young. Obviously, Liam was 36 but we want to pay our respects towards him and obviously we're trying to raise some funds for Liam's wife and children, and Marymount, and there'll be other charities, no doubt. There will be sadness there but we need to celebrate Liam's career and what he achieved in the game,” he added. 

“You've got to try and help each other and if you can't go out of your way to help an ex-teammate then I don't see the point of being on this planet.”

That’s the first time I’ve ever heard the Republic of Ireland Assistant Manager talk in such terms, but it’s nice to hear that his perspective has changed from his win-at-all-costs mentality as a player.

That’s something we could all learn from.

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