The former Celtic midfielder Liam Miller died last night at the age of 36 after a short battle with the heinous illness that is cancer.
He made his debut in the 2-0 win over Dundee Utd on the last day of the ill fated Barnes/Dalglish season, which is more memorable for noting it was the game Henrik Larsson made his long awaited return from a broken leg and was a high point in an an-otherwise bleak campaign.
Miller was one of two players, along with Mikey Doyle, who was sent out on loan to Aarhus in 2001 to gain first team experience in Denmark, and Marc Rieper, managing them at the time, praised Miller’s attitude and ability while there. In fact, he impressed so much there that the Danish club considered a permanent bid for him.
In the summer of 2003, he scored his first goal for Celtic in a win in Lithuania, against Kaunas.
That year would prove to be a fruitful one for Miller, with memorable goals against Lyon and Anderlecht in the Champions League being the main highlights of his Celtic career, with a double against Hearts sandwiched in between them.
His best performance however, and it is one I can remember so well, was at Ibrox on a strangely warm October day, to help Celtic to a 1-0 win at the then reigning SPL champions. He was thrown into that game at the deep end and comprehensively bossed Emerson and Arteta early doors, along with Lennon, to tighten our grip on a game that we would end up dominating. It would be pivotal that season, as it was the first of the Whitewash over our rivals, and we never looked back after that. Miller’s role in us winning that match was crucial, while Lennon snapped into tackles, Miller kept the ball moving, and providing an energy and fluidity to our play that day.
It was evident that we had a real player on our hands, and despite how his Celtic career ended up panning out, the majority of the support appreciated his, cliches incoming, hard working yet classy performances.
The very fact that Miller was holding his own and standing out in that Celtic team, which were one of the top sides in European football back then, was some going and a credit to him alone.
Last night, the news was confirmed on social media that Liam had passed away, with pancreatic cancer being the cause of his death, and apart from a few idiots trying to make the dreadful situation about themselves, many people were able to, remarkably, show respect and appreciate his contribution to Celtic, in his relatively short time with us
There will be a minutes silence today at Celtic Park ahead of the Partick Thistle game later today.
Liam Miller leaves behind a wife, and three children, and our thoughts are with them.
Thank you for the memories Liam, and rest in peace.