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'Smiling' Sean can't wait to watch Irish and Liverpool legends in Aviva match

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Martina Cox, the wife of Sean  was joined by former footballers Jason McAteer (left) and Ian Rush for the launch of the Liverpool Legends v Republic of Ireland Legends match

Martina Cox, the wife of Sean was joined by former footballers Jason McAteer (left) and Ian Rush for the launch of the Liverpool Legends v Republic of Ireland Legends match

Martina Cox, the wife of Sean was joined by former footballers Jason McAteer (left) and Ian Rush for the launch of the Liverpool Legends v Republic of Ireland Legends match

Friends of Sean Cox have confirmed that the injured Liverpool fan will attend the charity match being held in his honour at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Friday.

It's been nearly a year since the father-of-three (53), from Dunboyne, Co Meath, was attacked before Liverpool's Champions League semi-final against AS Roma.

After suffering a head injury in the unprovoked assault and spending five weeks in a specialist neurological unit in Liverpool, Sean was transferred by air ambulance to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.

He is now receiving round-the-clock treatment at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire.

Sean's friend Stephen Felle revealed on Newstalk Breakfast yesterday that Sean will leave hospital for the first time on Friday to attend the match.

"We're delighted to say that Sean is going to be there in person," he told host Susan Keogh.

"It's going to be Sean Cox's first move outside a medical environment in almost 12 months so it's very special for the family and it's very emotional for his wife Martina.

"She said he knows he's going and he's excited. He keeps smiling and he can't wait.

"It has taken a lot of planning. He is obviously medically dependent, and the logistics of getting him there and making sure he's properly cared for when in the stadium have taken some work.

"The caveat is if Sean got an infection or a cold, or something happens between now and Friday, we might have to change the plan.

"But as we sit here now… that's the plan."

A huge crowd is expected at the Aviva on Friday, where a team of Liverpool FC legends will take on a Republic of Ireland legends team.

Kenny Dalglish will manage ex-players such as Robbie Fowler, Ian Rush and Steve McManaman, with Mick McCarthy taking charge of Ray Houghton, Damien Duff and Niall Quinn among others.

Robbie Keane, John Aldridge, Jason McAteer and Phil Babb will turn out for both sides.

Progress

While Sean has been making progress, Stephen said it will be a "very slow and long journey".

"It is heartening that Sean can say more words, or that he may be more alert, or that his movement might be improving," he said.

"But it remains very, very serious for Sean and he's going to need care for the rest of his life.

"But he hasn't forgotten about Liverpool... I think it would be a fantastic dedication to Sean if Liverpool can win the Premier League title this year."

Tickets for the 7.45pm kick-off are available on Ticketmaster.ie