BBC pundit Tam McManus has paid tribute to the late Celtic, Hibernian and Republic of Ireland midfielder Liam Miller, who tragically died at the age of 36.
McManus revealed that Miller was the best player he ever played against at the age of 17 and 18, when the pair met at youth level football.
“Without exaggeration, he was the best young player I ever played against at 17, 18. He had the lot.” McManus said, as quoted in his column in the Herald.
“We would all come off the park at full-time usually after a doing from Celtic raving about the wee Irish fella in the middle of the park who spoke in a strange accent.
“He was just different class and it was no surprise to me that he was very quickly in and around a very strong Celtic squad under Martin O’Neill.”
Miller broke through into a Hoops team in 2003 which had just the previous season made the final of the UEFA Cup and had some big names, but he kept his place in the team and shone in the Champions League in particular, scoring memorable goals against Lyon and Anderlecht
It wasn’t a surprise to see bigger clubs taking an interest in the player and Manchester United stole in to sign the Irishman on a pre-contract agreement.
Sadly the move to Old Trafford didn’t really work out for the player, and he eventually played for the likes of Hibernian, Leeds and Sunderland, before retiring only last year due to ill health.
Miller’s departure at the time might have upset some Celtic fans, but now they can look badly at memories tinged with sadness of a player who once took the Champions League by storm.