Two brothers of Irishman Sean Cox, who suffered life-changing injuries, following an attack at a Liverpool match earlier this year, have thanked the city’s people for their “unbelievable” support.
Sean and his brother Martin Cox were heading to the Anfield stadium for the Reds’ Champions League semi-final tie against Roma when they were attacked by away supporters in April.
The father of three was left with injuries that required him to be placed into an induced coma, he was subsequently transferred to a Dublin hospital and is now being cared for at Dun Laoghaire Rehabilitation Hospital.
But still needing long-term treatment which could span years, a Gofundme.com page was set up in order to provide support for Cox and his family, raising almost €400,000 so far.
Donations have come from Roma and their chairman Jim Pallotta, Jurgen Klopp, Peter Moore, Michael Edwards, Christian Purslow, David Meyler and Seamus Coleman.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo as they returned to Liverpool over the weekend to receive a £60,000 (€67,000) cheque, Martin and Peter Cox said the support for their family has, “been massive”
Peter said: “The support has been massive, absolutely massive.When you are down and you see what the people of Liverpool are doing for you.The bucket collection that day, seeing the clips of Liverpool people, women, men, children, taking their own time out in the cold for my brother, it’s unbelievable.
“The generosity is overwhelming, it really is and we can’t thank them enough.”
Martin explained that his brother’s condition is “gradually getting better,” but added that it had been “very tough” for their family, describing the attack as “surreal, horrific and life changing.”
He added that Sean was recently able to “pick up a cup by himself unaided” for the first time, and that he is working his way back to eating properly.
Their time in hospital alongside him has been, understandably, very difficult, and particularly while he was initially being treated in the Walton Centre in Liverpool.
But Martin said that small gestures from those in Liverpool including taxi drivers who drove them back to their hotel and refused a fare helped them through.
"One minute you are down walking to the match with your brother, a Champions League semi-final. Then in the space of 12 seconds your life is changed completely.
It's like a sliding doors moment. Walking up, arm in arm, we couldn't wait to get into the ground - a Champions League semi-final, the biggest game of the season. And the next minute we are in an ambulance being rushed to the Walton Centre. It was surreal, horrific, life changing.
“The first month he spent in the Walton Centre and we were travelling over to see him, taxi drivers, just ordinary people, were giving their fares,” he recalled.
“They were going out for a night’s work on a Monday or a Tuesday when things are quiet and they would pick us up from the hospital and bring us back to the hotel.
“They would say ‘sorry for asking, are you related to the guy who was attacked?’. We would say yes and they would say ‘it’s OK, you don’t have to give us the fare’.
“We would be like ‘come on, this is your living’. It’s the little things like that.
“It’s true what they say, You’ll Never Walk Alone. The people of Liverpool have proved that.”
Donations can be made to gofundme.com/SupportSeanCox.