'Thank you' - Sean Cox addresses public for first time since vicious assault ahead of 'milestone' charity match
Father-of-three Sean Cox has addressed the public for the first time as he offered a message of thanks to the thousands of people wishing him well ahead of his appearance at the Aviva Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
The Sean Cox Rehabilitation Trust, a charity set up in his honour, has released video footage this morning of Mr Cox thanking the public and giving a thumbs up.
"If you are one of the thousands who organised/attended a fundraiser to support Sean, Sean Cox has a message for you," the charity said.
Liverpool FC Legends will take on a Republic of Ireland XI Legends selection at the Aviva Stadium tomorrow afternoon to raise money for the Meath man's rehabilitation.
Kenny Dalglish will lead a star-studded Liverpool team against an Ireland side featuring Robbie Keane and a host of big names.
Mr Cox, from Dunboyne in Co Meath, suffered life-changing injuries after an unprovoked attacked by Roma supporter Simone Mastrelli outside of Anfield Stadium on April 24 last year.
As the first anniversary of the devastating incident approaches, his wife Martina Cox has spoken about her husband's progress and how a fundraiser football match to raise money for his rehabilitation expenses will be a "milestone" for their family.
Speaking to Ray D'Arcy on RTE Radio One yesterday, she gave an update on Sean's progress as he leaves the National Rehabilitation Hospital.
She said: "I'm okay, it's been a pretty whirlwind year for us really, it's just unreal...
"He is doing okay considering the horrific injuries that he has, it's a very slow progress but he is making progress, obviously the most progress that he has made since he went to the rehabilitation centre in October.
"That's really important that he gets that level of rehab and he will need that for a long time going forward.
"What we're looking at now is rehab facilities in the UK because unfortunately in Ireland there isn't anything past the NRH, which is shameful really.
"I'm looking into that and once we find the best fit for Sean I am going to move over there with Sean and he will probably be there for three or four months depending on the programme they give him."
Sean is going to be among those attending the game, which Martina called a "milestone."
"Hopefully we'll get a packed audience but I think it'll be great fun...
"It's huge, it's big in the sense that he's actually getting to go to the Aviva Stadium.
"He's actually leaving the hospital and will be going to the stadium, he hasn't done anything like this, the only thing he's done is be out to the house twice for a couple of hours.
"It is a big milestone," Martina said.
Martina touched on how difficult it has been for Sean to have missed out on family occasions over the past year and said that he would have loved to have seen Liverpool beat Porto on Tuesday night but she said they are determined to stay focused on their future.
She said: "It's hard to believe that everything changed in the matter of 17 seconds, Sean's life was completely changed and our lives were
changed as well.
"It's the first thing I think of every morning and the last thing at night, there are times when you think did this really happy and unfortunately it has.
"The focus is Sean and trying to get him to the best level that we can...
"He's got to where he is today because he's determined, he is a fighter.
"He’s very determined and always have been. Any challenge that has come his way he’s done it.
"You can’t give up but I think one of the most important things to know is that he has to get the proper rehabilitation because if he doesn’t get that he won’t progress.
"So that’s really important and that’s why we are giving him this opportunity.”
- Tickets to the republic of Ireland XI v Liverpool FC Legends match are available here
- For more information or to donate please visit https://www.supportsean.com/