Sunday 26 January 2020

Klopp welcomes 'incredible' Sean Cox back to Anfield

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and player Virgil van Dijk with Sean Cox at Anfield
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and player Virgil van Dijk with Sean Cox at Anfield

Liverpool's victory over Manchester City at Anfield was a bittersweet moment for Sean Cox as he returned to the Merseyside stadium yesterday.

It was his first time at the club since he suffered life-changing injuries following an unprovoked attack last year.

The 54-year-old Reds fan from Dunboyne, Co Meath, was left with severe brain injuries when he was attacked by Roma supporters ahead of the club's Champions League semi-final match on April 24, 2018.


Italian fan Simone Mastrelli (30) was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail for the assault, while another Roma fan, Filippo Lombardi (21), was cleared of inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mr Cox, but jailed for three years for violent disorder.

Mr Cox, who is still undergoing treatment at a specialist neurological facility in Sheffield, watched the crunch match from a wheelchair in the stands as a guest of the club.

According to his wife Martina, it was "a bittersweet" day for the avid Liverpool supporter and father-of-three.

"Sean's coming back in a different capacity, you know," she said.

"He's in a wheelchair, he's got lifelong injuries, but look, it's a good day and we're really going to enjoy it. I think it will be great boost for Sean," she told Newstalk's Off The Ball radio show before Liverpool won the game 3-1.

Earlier, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp paid tribute to Mr Cox and his family ahead of the Premier League match.


"There are a couple of people in the ground today I want to make a special mention of - Sean Cox and his incredible family," he wrote in the programme notes.

"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.

"To know he plans to come back to Anfield - to support this club once more - brings perspective to so many things, both in football and life."

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