Ticket sales are so strong for the Liam Miller benefit match at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork that the site crashed when it went live at 10am today.
The website was back live very quickly and stand tickets have been completely sold out. A limited number of terrace tickets are still available.
Property developer, Michael O’Flynn, who is one of the organisers of the event said that they were delighted with the response so far.
“You can imagine with 10,000 people going online at the same time (that this would happen). This is a really good sign.”
Mr O’Flynn is a neighbour of the Miller family and knew Liam when he was growing up. He said if Liam hadn’t played football he could have been a success in the world of GAA.
“A lot of people in our parish and parishes in Mid Cork remember him as an exceptional GAA player. I saw him playing with Éire Óg myself. He would have played in the re jersey in both codes. It is fascinating how good he was at that age.”
Tickets for the game in aid of the young family of the former Celtic, Manchester United and Republic of Ireland footballer and Marymount Hospice went on sale this morning on tickets.ie. Miller died earlier this year from oesophageal cancer at the age of 36.
Lines of people queued outside Supervalu branches in Cork this morning to buy tickets, with the manager of one store joking that the city wouldn’t have a single person working on the afternoon of the fixture.
Danny Comerford, manager of Supervalu in Grange on the southside of Cork city, said they had “queues in the aisles when they put tickets on sale.”
“We knew the demand would be strong after tickets for (the original venue) in Turner’s Cross went so quickly. Nobody will be working in Cork on the day of the match! (The response) has been great.”
At Supervalu in Merchants Quay in Cork city fans also lined up in their droves to pick up the tickets. Liam Corcoran from the Glen in Cork queued for over an hour to buy a wheelchair-accessible ticket for his daughter, Amanda. He told Cork’s Red FM that Amanda is a big Liam Miller and Manchester United fan. They missed out on the last round of tickets for Turners Cross.
“We just got to the window the last time and it was sold out so we had to wait. This is the second time queuing for us.”
Margaret McLoughlin was in Merchant Quay to purchase tickets for her grandson and his friends. She said it was a “magnificent spectacle” for Cork and that it was great to see so many people supporting it.
Tickets selling out
The game was initially due to be held at the 7,300-capacity Turners Cross in Cork, with tickets selling out within minutes of going on sale in July.
The GAA was heavily criticized, especially on social media, over its initial refusal to allow the match to go ahead at the higher-capacity Páirc Uí Chaoimh. The organisation said it was prohibited under its rules from hosting games other than those under its control in its stadiums and grounds and this could only be changed by GAA Congress in February
But the match will go ahead there after the organisation performed a U-turn on the matter.
The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Mick Finn has said what better way to move on from all the controversy about the venue than to fill the stadium on September 25th for the event. He also reiterated his congratulations to the GAA for facilitating the game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
The match will see Manchester United Legends XI take on Celtic/Republic of Ireland legends in Páirc Uí Chaoimh in in Cork next month.
The Manchester United legends team includes manager Roy Keane and former players Ryan Giggs, Louis Saha, Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville and Nicky Butt.
The Celtic/Ireland legends line up managed by Martin O'Neill will feature amongst others Robbie Keane, Damien Duff, Neil Lennon, Kevin Kilbane and Richard Dunne.
At a press briefing last week Roy Keane said it was his hope that the players would be match fit. In a lighthearted moment he revealed that his former team mate Paul Scholes had let himself go a little from his prime.
Asked if he ever played in Páirc Uí Chaoimh as a youngster he said that he hadn’t had the privilege but that he had run at a city sports event onsite as a young boy.
Sadly he says that he didn’t win as though he was considered fast in his primary school he found that he was “average” when pitched from schoolboys around the city.
Roy Keane said he was looking forward to catching up with his former team mates.
“You go through the list. Brilliant players. And I will be honest from a selfish point of view I am looking forward to meeting up with them because we had some great days together,” he said.
“They are still my team mates and that is why we are here to pay our respects to Liam. Liam is still our team mate. And that is why the response has been fantastic. We are all looking forward to it.”