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Republic of Ireland news

Liverpool fan Sean Cox remains in critical condition

Liverpool celebrate reaching the Champions League Final, with a banner for fan Sean Cox during the UEFA Champions League semi final at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome. Picture by Steven Paston/PA
Suzanne McGonagle and PA

THE family of a Liverpool fan attacked before the Champions League match against Roma say they "long for the day" when he is able to return home to Co Meath, as they reveal he remains in a critical condition.

The 53-year-old businessman from Dunboyne suffered serious head injuries outside Anfield prior to the semi-final first leg on April 24.

Attending the match with his brother, it is believed Mr Cox, who is being treated at the Walton Neurological Centre in Liverpool, was hit with a belt.

The Cox family has issued a statement on the official Liverpool website, expressing how they have been "overwhelmed and humbled by the support we have received since Sean was so badly hurt two weeks".

"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," they said.

"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."

Following the second leg 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 added: "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".

Two Italian men have been remanded in custody after appearing in court charged in connection with the attack. The case was sent to Liverpool Crown Court, where both men will appear on May 24.

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