Liverpool players send messages of support to an Irish man left in a critical condition following an attack at Anfield.
A 53-year-old Irish man has been left in a critical condition following an assault before Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final between Liverpool and Roma. Sean Cox is believed to be a Liverpool fan who traveled to Anfield for the match with his brother.
He was attacked outside the grounds with a belt and suffered a head injury. British Police confirmed that two men from Rome have been arrested for attempted murder.
"Merseyside Police can confirm that two men, aged 25 and 26 years from Rome, have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a 53-year-old man was seriously injured before the Champions League semi-final game this evening,” said a statement.
Pre-match trouble outside Anfield started when group of Roma fans arrived via Venmore St, burst on to Walton Breck Rd & attacked, many using belts. #LFC fan knocked to floor & received lengthy medical treatment. Skirmishes, projectiles, at least 1 hammer in hand, police arrived pic.twitter.com/Yaby4q5f0Y— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) April 24, 2018
"[They] were arrested inside the ground after officers carried out a number of proactive inquiries in a bid to identify those involved in the incident.
"Officers were called to the Albert public-house at about 7.35pm following reports that a man, believed to be 53 years from Ireland, had been seriously assaulted.
"Paramedics attended at the scene and the victim, who suffered a head injury, was taken to Walton Neurological Centre where his condition is described as critical."
It is believed that fans from both teams were involved in altercations outside the grounds before Liverpool’s 5-2 first-leg defeat over the Italian side.
“The vast majority of the 52,500 fans attending the game were well-behaved and went to watch a good game of football,” said Chief Superintendent Dave Charnock.
“However, a minority of fans from both Liverpool and Roma were involved in isolated pockets of disorder in the city center and near the ground.”
In total, nine men aged between 20 and 43 were arrested for various offenses which included attempted murder, affray, assault, possession of offensive weapons, possession of a controlled drug, criminal drug and being drunk and disorderly before and after the game.
My thoughts and prayers are with Liverpool supporter Sean Cox, his brother & family at this difficult time, wishing Sean a speedy recovery. The people of Ireland are behind you Sean #YNWA— Paul McGrath (@Paulmcgrath5) April 25, 2018
Tweeting after the game, Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain mentioned a knee injury he had picked up before expressing his concern for the Liverpool fan.
“This all pales in comparison to how the family of the Liverpool fan badly hurt before last night’s game must be feeling,” he said.
“My thoughts are with him and his loved ones.”
The club has also issued a statement saying they are “shocked and appalled” by the attack.
“Our thoughts, in the first instance, are with the victim and his family at this very traumatic time,” Liverpool said.
“We will be offering them our full support.”