'He is a fighter' - Family of stricken Liverpool fan Sean Cox confirm that he remains in a critical condition
Liverpool fan Sean Cox remains in a critical condition after being attacked before the Champions League match against Roma, the Cox family has said.
Cox, a 53-year-old businessman from Dunboyne in Ireland, suffered serious head injuries in an incident outside Anfield prior to the Champions League semi-final first leg on April 24.
Attending the match with his brother, it is believed Cox, who is being treated at the Walton Neurological Centre in Liverpool, was hit with a belt.
Two Italian men have been remanded in custody after appearing in court charged in connection with the incident. The case was sent to Liverpool Crown Court, where both men will appear on May 24.
The Cox family issued a statement on the official Liverpool website, expressing their thanks for the support following the incident, with tributes coming from across football including from Italian club Roma.
"As a family we have been overwhelmed and humbled by the support we have received since Sean was so badly hurt two weeks ago," the family statement read.
"From the wonderful medical staff at the Walton Centre who continue to care for Sean to the highly dedicated officers of Merseyside Police who have assisted us from the moment we arrived, it has been a great comfort to know that we are in such good hands."
Liverpool won the first leg 5-2 and went on to secure a place in the Champions League final despite losing the second leg in Rome 4-2, as the Reds progressed 6-7 on aggregate.
Following the match at the Stadio Olimpico, the Liverpool team posed on the pitch with a banner reading "Sean Cox - You'll Never Walk Alone".
The family statement highlighted the compassion shown, both on and off the field.
"There are no words to describe the gratitude we feel to the ordinary people of Liverpool and Ireland who have taken Sean to their hearts in a way that underlines why those places have such a deserved reputation for generosity and solidarity," the statement continued.
"Every day letters and cards arrive from this country, from Ireland and beyond. Every one of them wishes us well and the accompanying offers of support have reminded us, even in our darkest moments, that we are not walking alone.
"Sean remains in a critical condition but he is a fighter and that, coupled with the medical and spiritual support he is receiving, gives us hope in our hearts and we long for the day when our husband, dad and brother returns home to Dunboyne so we can be together as a family once more.
"In the meantime, we would ask that our privacy continues to be respected and when we have news we will share it at the appropriate time.
"Until then, all we can do is hope and pray for Sean in the knowledge that he is receiving the best possible care."