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'Thoughts and prayers with him': Liverpool player's message of support to Irish fan seriously injured in attack

Two Italian men have been arrested accused of attempted murder.

A view of the Albert pub outside Anfield
A view of the Albert pub outside Anfield
Image: Peter Byrne/PA Images

Updated 10.10pm

LIVERPOOL MIDFIELDER ALEX Oxlade-Chamberlain has expressed sympathy with the family of an Irish Liverpool fan who remains in hospital in a critical condition after he was attacked near Anfield football ground before Liverpool’s Champions League match against Roma last night.

The 53-year-old was assaulted during an altercation between fans of the two teams, Merseyside Police said.

In a statement this afternoon, St Peter’s GAA club in Dunboyne confirmed that the man was a club colleague named Sean Cox.

The club said: “Sean is a long serving and popular member of St. Peter’s GAA Club in Dunboyne.

At this point we hope that Sean is receiving all of the medical care he requires and that he makes a full and speedy recovery. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sean and his family, and we hope that they get the privacy and space they need.

Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain send a message of support to Cox and his family.

Chamberlain tweeted about a knee injury he picked up, which will rule him out of England’s World Cup squad.

“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.

Two men – aged 25 and 26 from Rome – have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

The Irishman, understood to be a Liverpool supporter, is currently being treated for his injuries at Walton Neurological Centre.

Chief Superintendent Dave Charnock said: “The vast majority of the 52,500 fans attending the game were well-behaved and went to watch a good game of football.

However, a minority of fans from both Liverpool and Roma were involved in isolated pockets of disorder in the city centre and near the ground.

In all, nine men aged between 20 and 43 were arrested for various offences including the 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, which Liverpool won 5-2.

Charnock said that police were also looking into the use of flares outside Anfield on Arkles Lane prior to the game.

(SP)BRITAIN-LIVERPOOL-SOCCER-UEFA-CHAMPIONS LEAGUE-LIVERPOOL VS ROMA Supporters welcome the team bus. Source: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

He said: “A number of those in the crowd that had gathered to greet the Liverpool team coach were in possession of flares and work is ongoing to identify those responsible and to establish if offences have been committed.”

In a statement, Liverpool Football Club said that it is “shocked and appalled” by the attack that left the Irishman in a critical condition.

“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.”

AS Roma football club also condemned “in the strongest possible terms the abhorrent behaviour of a small minority”.

The club said in a statement that that the people involved had “brought shame on the club”.

With reporting from Cormac Fitzgerald 

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Sean Murray

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