Sean 'making progress' as Dubs and old rivals raise thousands

Managers Jim Gavin and Andy McEntee with Martina Cox and daughters Emma and Shauna. Photo: Caroline Quinn

Ryan Nugent

Liverpool fan Sean Cox is making slow progress in his recovery, his wife Martina said yesterday - as a charity fixture raised tens of thousands for the Dublin man.

Meath narrowly defeated Dublin at Pairc Tailteann, Navan, in the challenge match arranged by the Sean Cox Fund.

More than 5,000 fans turned out for the game - with plenty of tickets purchased online in the lead-up to the match.

Father-of-three Mr Cox was seriously injured in an unprovoked attack as he was making his way to Anfield for Liverpool's match with Roma in April.

Speaking to the Herald, Mrs Cox said her husband is making slow progress.

"He's doing OK. He was on a feeding tube, he's off that now," she said. "He's eating and drinking, obviously being aided by the nurses but that's a big step for him.

Young GAA players from St. Peter's, Dunboyne, and Round Towers, Clondalkin, with a banner before the game

"Words are difficult for him, but there's a few more words coming out.

"He's doing music therapy, which is really good. He can actually sing, so through music therapy he can actually remember songs which is really good.

"It's a very long and slow process.

"We are seeing positives there.

Fans Liam and Orla Vaughan, from Kells, and sons Matthew, Luke and Anthony

"He'd have a lot more movement. He's starting to use his left hand again, even to feed himself."


Asked how the family has been coping since the tragic incident, Mrs Cox said: "It's really tough. Really, really tough.

"It's our first Christmas without Sean at home, so it's not easy but you just get on with it. It's all centred around Sean at the end of the day. The visits, everything, our life, it's just kind of turned us upside down really."

She added that the family had received amazing support from well-wishers.

"When the chips are down people just turn out in their droves," she said. "People have been doing absolutely amazing things for us and it doesn't matter who you support, it's just everyone has come together for Sean."

Ireland soccer legend Niall Quinn took part in a half-time penalty shoot-out challenge, having his shot saved by Santa - though he did redeem himself somewhat by saving a penalty a few minutes later.

He was more than willing to turn out to help the cause.

"The GAA world is great anyway, that the game is being played is a fantastic tribute, I'm just delighted to be down here being part of it," he said.

"A lovely occasion today, but obviously it's tinged with sadness with Sean, but hopefully that's starting to go the right way.

"It's a long fight, a long struggle but hopefully there'll be plenty of positivity as time goes on and every penny is needed for that of course."


Also in attendance at the event were Dublin football legends Alan Brogan and Charlie Redmond, along with Meath hero Graham Geraghty and jockey Johnny Murtagh.

Herald columnist Alan said: "It's a great day out, I was delighted to be involved in any way I could.

"GAA people in general are always willing to rally around and help."

Meath manager Andy McEntee said it didn't take long for both counties to agree to play the game, adding that community spirit has been huge as they look to raise funds.