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Remembering Liam Miller; Former Sunderland midfielder dies tragically aged just 36

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Liam Miller - a name synonymous with one of the most celebrated periods in Sunderland’s recent history - has died tragically aged just 36 following a battle with Pancreatic cancer.

Soccer - Friendly - Scunthorpe United v Sunderland - Glanford Park Photo by Jon Buckle - EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images

One thing that tragedy does - especially when it comes to football and footballing personalities - is bring you some perspective on life, and what is truly important to us.

Former Sunderland midfielder Liam Miller has tragically passed away at the age of 36, leaving behind a wife and three children with whom all of our thoughts are with at this incredibly difficult and distressing time.

It’s sad being in the knowledge that two of the players who formed part of that iconic Roy Keane-inspired Sunderland team are no longer with us. Marton Fulop, like Liam, was taken by Cancer whilst still a very young man - proof if needed that you just don’t know what life has in store for you around the corner.

For me personally, Liam’s name is synonymous with probably my favourite time following the club as one of the key players in our title winning side of 2007.

Middlesbrough v Sunderland Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Sunderland fans everywhere will hold happy memories of Liam Miller’s short time on Wearside, of that I’m sure. In his two and a half years here he made sixty first team appearances for the lads, scoring three goals.

Miller’s fantastic half volley away at Leeds United in one of Keane’s first games as manager still leaves me in awe and brings back happy memories, as does the season-changing moment we experienced when Liam scored that last-minute header against Derby County at the Stadium of Light which effectively set us on our path towards promotion.

Quite simply put, that journey we experienced under Keane’s stewardship just wouldn’t have been possible without Miller’s contributions, and as a young fan just learning the ropes as I was back then I can’t really put into words just how highly I regard him when it comes to my time thus far as a die-hard Sunderland supporter.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Middlesbrough v Sunderland - Riverside Stadium
Miller’s unbelievable goal v Boro
Photo by Anna Gowthorpe - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

In the season after Liam gave me one of my most cherished memories as a fan of this club when he scored an unbelievable half-volley right at death away at Middlesbrough when we were 2-1 down. Fans tumbled over rows and rows of seats as we managed to snatch a point from the jaws of despair - with the team showcasing the type of heart and desire that quite often back then helped us to achieve good results out of nothing, with all of the players in tune with the thoughts and feelings of a manager who demanded so much commitment from them.

Lessons can be learned from what Liam Miller accomplished in his football career.

This is a man who represented two of the biggest clubs in Britain in Manchester United and Celtic, was capped by his country on 21 occasions and played all over the world for a whole host of clubs in almost every corner of the globe.

He achieved unbelievable things in his short life, and its cruel to learn that his time on this Earth has been cut so tragically short, with a young family left behind to grieve their incomprehensible loss.

So here’s to you, Liam Miller. You are forever Red and White.