A charity football match in aid of an injured fan has helped raise 748,000 euro.
Liverpool FC announced that the money had been raised following the special charity game held at the Aviva Stadium earlier this year.
Nearly 27,000 fans attended the match, which saw LFC Legends and a Republic of Ireland XI come together in aid of the Sean Cox Rehabilitation Trust to raise vital funds for his ongoing care.
Liverpool supporter Mr Cox suffered a serious brain injury in an attack by an Italian hooligan last year.
The dad of three from Co Meath, who continues his rehabilitation in the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire, is a former company director from Dunboyne.
He suffered major head trauma when he was struck in an unprovoked assault by a masked AS Roma supporter outside Anfield last April.
Mr Cox attended the match with his family and President of Ireland Michael D Higgins, and watched Liverpool come from behind to win 2-1.
Liverpool FC CEO Peter Moore, director of the LFC Foundation Matt Parish and Joe Blott, chairman of the Spirit of Shankly, presented a special cheque to Mr Cox’s wife Martina and Stephen Felle, chairman of the Sean Cox Rehabilitation Trust.
Mr Cox’s wife said the support of the club and general public has been humbling.
“Today is my first ever visit to Anfield and, while it is tinged with some sadness given Sean cannot be with me, we are humbled by the warmth and generosity that has been shown by Liverpool Football Club, its supporters and the people of this city in taking Sean into their hearts,” she said.
“While the doctors are pleased with his progress, it is slow and Sean himself is frustrated at not being able to properly speak or express himself or do the things he took for granted before the attack.
“Sean begins the next stage in his rehabilitation later this summer when he will travel from Dublin to a specialist neurological centre in Yorkshire.
“As a family we hope and pray that we get more of the old Sean back in the years ahead.”
Back in October 2018, during Liverpool’s Premier League fixture against Cardiff City, volunteers from the club and the Spirit of Shankly staged a bucket collection at Anfield which was match-funded by the LFC Foundation, the club’s official charity, taking the total from this earlier appeal to £59,000.
The club and first-team players have also supported the appeal privately.
Mr Moore said: “What happened to Sean was such a terrible tragedy – no football fan should go to a game and suffer what he and his family have endured.
“We must come together to try and help in any way we can regardless of club colours.
“The support we have seen from football fans all over the world has shown that this game is special when everyone is united. It was incredible to see so many supporters come together and help support Sean.
“I would like to thank our fans for their unwavering loyalty in supporting this game, and also the FAI and its partners for their generous support in helping us deliver such a magnificent event.”
The club said it looks forward to welcoming Sean and his family back to Anfield in the future.
You can still donate to the Sean Cox Rehabilitation Trust by visiting www.gofundme.com/SupportSeanCox.