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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 13 December, 2019

'He was very happy to see me, but I thought I was much more happy to see him'

Seán Cox made an emotional return to Anfield yesterday, where he met Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

All smiles as the pair met at Anfield yesterday.
All smiles as the pair met at Anfield yesterday.


A heartwarming picture which put everything into perspective.

Liverpool were 3-1 winners over Manchester City at Anfield yesterday, taking a huge step towards the Premier League title as they opened up an eight-point lead at the top of the table.

But a photograph circulated after, which reminded everyone that there’s much more important things in life. 

It was a truly special day for Seán Cox, as he made an emotional return to Liverpool’s home ground after an horrific attack which left the Meath man with serious brain injuries. 

There, the lifelong Liverpool fan met Jurgen Klopp — who recently described the unprovoked attack by AS Roma fans before the 2018 Champions League semi-final at Anfield as “the  lowest point in my time at Liverpool” — and star defender Virgil Van Dijk.

“I saw him now after the game before the interviews,” Klopp said of seeing 54-year-old Cox and his family after yesterday’s game. “It was great, it was nice – very, very nice.

He was very happy to see me, but I thought I was much more happy to see him, so I think we had a draw! It was really, really nice.

“His wife and son were there as well, so it was a wonderful day for them, that’s exactly what we wanted. I can say already, whenever he wants to come – he can move to Liverpool and then he gets a season ticket, 100 per cent.

“For all of the boys, it was really important news when we heard he was able to go to the stadium and watch a football game. I saw him today and, yes, he could enjoy the game. So, all good.”

Father-of-three Cox spent 18 months receiving treatment in Ireland before recently moving to a specialist neurological facility in the north of England.

In yesterday’s matchday programme, there was a tribute Cox entitled, “Welcome back Seán,” with some touching words from club chief executive Peter Moore.

Moore later tweeted the heartwarming picture of Cox and Klopp, with the caption, “What’s important now…”

Klopp also paid tribute to the “inspirational” Cox pre-kick-off in the Liverpool manager’s programme notes for the top-of-the-table fixture.

“There are a couple of people in the ground today I want to make a special mention of: Seán Cox and his incredible family,” the German boss wrote.

programme Source: Rosario Pompizzi Twitter.

“Seán’s name and that of his wife Martina and his wider family makes me think of courage, spirit and renewal. Seán is an inspirational figure in the club’s story now.

“To know he plans to come back to Anfield – to support this club once more – brings perspective to so many things, both football and in life.

“I hope all of us here today, whatever colours we wear, do him proud in how we approach the occasion.

“Seán’s story has touched all of us, and although initially the emotions were one of sadness that his life has been so affected by purely coming to support the football team he loves, we now have new feelings when we hear his name mentioned.”

A Liverpool legends charity match at the Aviva Stadium earlier this year raised €748,000 for the Seán Cox Rehabilitation Trust.

Simone Mastrelli, 30, was jailed for three-and-a-half years for the assault. Filippo Lombardi, 21, was jailed for three years for violent disorder, but cleared of inflicting grievous bodily harm.

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Emma Duffy

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