By Press Association
Last Updated: 28/12/18 8:51pm
Liverpool players celebrate with a Sean Cox banner after their Champions League semi-final victory over Roma
A Liverpool fan who was left with catastrophic injuries after being attacked outside Anfield earlier this year is now eating independently, his family has said.
Sean Cox, 53, from Dunboyne, Co Meath was assaulted by a Roma fan less than an hour before kick-off at the Champions League semi-final in April.
The father-of-three was left with brain injuries, and his wife Martina said their lives had been “turned upside down”.
Mr Cox has been recovering at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire, where his wife says he is making progress.
“He no longer has a feeding tube so is starting to eat and drink again with the help of the wonderful nursing staff,” she said.
“Sean has some more words and is trying very hard to sing along to familiar songs; these are encouraging and proud steps for us all.”
Cox was attacked outside Anfield in the moments before kick-off in the Champions League semi-final first leg
Mrs Cox said they have shown him social media posts, press clippings and videos from fundraising events in England and Ireland to show him the public support he has received.
“While it has been an exceptionally difficult time, what has helped me and the kids get through it has been the overwhelming goodwill of Sean’s family, friends, supporters and the general public,” she said.
“The Support Sean campaign has witnessed huge generosity and has raised â‚¬1.1m (Â£992,045) to date.
“People whom we have never met have been there for us in so many, many ways, alongside our family, friends and local community.
“While we have a battle ahead again in 2019, our burden is lightened by this love and support for Sean.”
Roma fan Filippo Lombardi, 21, from Rome, was cleared of inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mr Cox in October, though he was jailed for three years for violent disorder.
Daniele Sciusco, 29, from Rome, admitted violent disorder ahead of the match and was jailed for two-and-a-half years in August 2018.