Sunday 21 October 2018

Klopp pays tribute to Irish fan left in coma after attack

Sean Cox from Co Meath. Photo: Merseyside Police
Sean Cox from Co Meath. Photo: Merseyside Police
Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said he was deeply shocked when he was told Irish fan Sean Cox had been brutally attacked outside Anfield.

The Meath man remained in a critical condition in a Liverpool hospital last night after being assaulted outside The Albert pub on Tuesday evening ahead of the first leg of the Champions League semi-final clash with Roma.

An emotional Klopp paid tribute to the dad-of-three yesterday as he wished him a speedy recovery, while wearing a tricolour Liver bird badge in a show of support.

"I think the game on Tuesday night showed the beauty of the game during it. It also showed ugly parts before it," the German manager said. "When I heard, I cannot describe my emotions. This should never happen, before or in the future.

"We all have to do everything to ensure that doesn't happen again. Nobody has a solution but it is unbelievable that something like this can happen. All our prayers are with Sean and his family."

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Liverpool police confirmed yesterday that Mr Cox remains in a critical condition.

Two Italian men were charged in relation to the attack at Sefton Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Doctors at the Walton Neurological Centre, which is around 10 minutes from Anfield, hope to try to wake him on Monday.

Mr Cox had a significant bleed on the left side of his brain, the court heard.

The Dunboyne father had been standing outside the landmark pub at the Anfield stadium with his brother, when he was the victim of an unprovoked attack.

His family have been keeping a bedside vigil at the hospital where he is being treated.

A jersey from his local GAA club, St Peter's, will be hung in the Liverpool dressing-room for a number of upcoming games as a show of solidarity by the club's players.

It comes as Liverpool have requested a meeting with Uefa, Roma and Italian police to address concerns over fan safety at next week's second leg.

Klopp sent a message to Liverpool's travelling fans. He said: "The only thing, and it is always how I see it, it is all about football. It is only football. Nothing more and nothing less. I never understood people who don't accept that."

Irish Independent

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