A stellar line-up of former Ireland and Liverpool greats will take to the pitch at the Aviva Stadium on April 12 in a major fund-raising game for Sean Cox, the Irish Reds supporter who suffered life-changing injuries after an unprovoked assault before the Champions League game against Roma at Anfield last April.
Mick McCarthy has agreed to manage a Republic of Ireland XI against a Liverpool FC Legends team, and among those set to line out — some for both sides — will be such household names as Robbie Keane, Robbie Fowler, Jason McAteer, John Aldridge, Phil Babb, Lee Carsley, Ian Rush, and Jerzy Dudek.
Speaking about her husband at a media event to promote the match and an associated gala dinner, Martina Cox said yesterday: “Sean has made encouraging progress in the last couple of months. He can do things now that he wouldn’t have been able to do a couple of months ago.
“He can talk a little, he has more movement than he did have. We don’t know if he will walk again but we’re encouraging him every step of the way. But he will need a huge amount of rehabilitation going forward.
“Sean needs the best and we have to make sure we get the best for him.”
Said Liverpool and Ireland legend Jason McAteer: “To have to deal with this kind of thing is frightening. He went to a football match and sadly he’s found himself in this situation and the impact it’s had on the family is phenomenal. A young family as well. It’s something they shouldn’t have to deal with. But like Martina said, you’ve got to stand up, get on with it and do the best you can.
“I’ve followed the story closely and I was over for the Napoli game and sat down with the family. You read the stuff in the newspapers but you don’t really know the true impact until you speak to them personally and see how it’s changed their lives. So when the club came to us, I, for one, put my hand up and all the lads followed suit.
“Putting charity games on is not an easy thing to do, there’s a lot of red tape. We get the easy part, we get to run out, meet each other, have a pint and a laugh but the people behind the scenes have done a phenomenal job.
“At Liverpool, we’ve had our fair share of tragedies as a football club and we’ve always seemed to pull together and show solidarity and make sure that everybody’s OK.
“It’s a family club and the least we can do as former players is to come over and support the Sean Cox Rehabilitation Trust and raise as much money as we can.”
Tickets for the game will go on general sale through Ticketmaster on February 14.