Sean Cox: Injured Liverpool fan makes first visit to Anfield since attack

Sean Cox
Sean Cox attended a charity game between Liverpool and Republic of Ireland legends in Dublin in April

Sean Cox's first return to Anfield since an assault left him with serious brain injuries was a "bittersweet" occasion, his wife Martina said.

Cox, 54, was attacked by Roma fans before a Champions League game at Anfield in April 2018.

He attended Sunday's 3-1 Premier League victory over Manchester City, meeting Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp afterwards.

"It's great to have him back but at the same time it is bittersweet," Martina told Off the Ballexternal-link before the game.

Cox, from County Meath, had almost 18 months of treatment in the Republic of Ireland after the attack, then moved to a specialist neurological facility in Sheffield for a 12-week rehabilitation programme, focusing on developing his speech and movement.

Sean Cox and Jurgen Klopp
Jürgen Klopp met with Sean Cox after Liverpool's victory against Manchester City

Peter Moore, Liverpool's chief executive, tweeted a picture of Cox with Klopp, who had given the lifelong supporter a special welcome in the matchday programme.

"Sean's story has touched all of us, and although initially the emotions were one of sadness that his life has been so affected purely by coming to support the football team he loves, we now have new feelings when we hear his name mentioned," wrote Klopp.

Martina gave an update on her husband's condition before the game.

"Sean is coming back in a different capacity; he's in a wheelchair," she said. "He's got lifelong injuries. But look, it's a good day and we are really going to enjoy it and I think it will be a great boost for Sean.

"He's doing well. He's in a rehab facility in Sheffield. He's has been there since September. He is starting to make progress and they are happy with him.

Liverpool support Sean Cox
Liverpool players show their support for Sean Cox after reaching the 2018 Champions League final

"There are a lot of different therapies that is getting here which he didn't necessarily get at home, which is really good. He's making progress, he's in the hydro pool and, with the help of two therapy assistants, he's walking.

"He does need a lot of assistance to walk but I think with time and a lot more intensive rehab, he will improve and that's a good thing."

Martina thanked everyone who has supported the Cox family since the attack.

"It has been tough for the family. I've been here with Sean and the children are at home," she said. "They have been commuting back and forth.

"It means an awful lot to the family. Without the support and all the fundraising, and what Liverpool have done, we wouldn't be in Sheffield with Sean and he wouldn't be getting that care so it means everything to us."

Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold said afterwards: "It is very special for him to be here and I am happy he has seen this performance from the team it is something that he deserves to see."

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