Liverpool

Sean Cox: Liverpool fan thanks supporters ahead of charity match

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Media captionMr Cox gave a thumbs-up in his first message to the public since he was attacked

A Liverpool fan who was left in a coma after being attacked outside the club's Anfield stadium has thanked the public for their support.

Sean Cox, 54, was left with brain injuries after being struck by an AS Roma supporter ahead of a Champions League semi-final tie in April 2018.

Mr Cox, from Dunboyne in County Meath, raised his thumb and said "thank you" in a short video posted on Twitter.

He will attend a charity match being held in his honour in Dublin on Friday.

His only previous outings in the last year had been to visit his family home.

The father-of-three is currently being cared for in Ireland's National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire near Dublin.

'Overwhelming'

His wife Martina Cox, 53, said: "He's going to be there which is great, I didn't think it would happen a couple of months ago.

"It's a big milestone for us. He has been out of hospital for a couple of hours before, but this is him out in the public arena for the first time.

"It will be quite overwhelming for Sean."

Image copyright Family handout/PA Wire
Image caption Sean Cox with his wife Martina before he was attacked

The match at the Aviva Stadium will see a Liverpool Legends team, managed by Sir Kenny Dalglish and captained by Ian Rush, play an Irish Republic Legends side, managed by current international boss Mick McCarthy and captained by Robbie Keane.

About 25,000 fans are expected to attend, with proceeds going to Mr Cox's rehabilitation fund.

Mr Cox will move to a rehabilitation centre in the UK in June, with his family moving with him.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Liverpool players show their support for Mr Cox at the Aviva Stadium last August

Mrs Cox said he was "sorely missed" in the family home, adding: "Our lives literally have been turned upside down."

She said her husband would need "life-long care" and support from people had been "heart-warming".

"I think they can really resonate with the story. Sean was just plucked out of a crowd and they did this to him, but it literally could have been anyone else there."

Simone Mastrelli, 30, from Rome, was jailed for three and a half years in February after pleading guilty to the attack at Preston Crown Court.

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