A Clondalkin native is in a critical condition following an assault outside Anfield stadium prior to Liverpool’s Champion’s League semi-final against AS Roma last night.
Sean Cox (53) – originally from Clondalkin but now living in Dunboyne, Co. Meath – was seriously assaulted by a group of Roma fans in an unprovoked attack outside the Albert pub at approximately 7.35pm.
Mr Cox was taken to Walton Neurological Centre where his condition is described as critical. It is believed that he attended the game with his brother.
Merseyside Police confirmed that two men, aged 25 and 26 years from Rome, have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following the incident.
The man was arrested inside the ground after officers carried out a number of proactive inquiries in a bid to identify those involved in the incident.
Detective Inspector Paul Speight of Merseyside Police said: “Witnesses report that the victim was hit with a belt and then fell to the ground.
“Paramedics treated him at the scene and he was taken by ambulance to Walton Neurological Centre, where he is being treated for a head injury.
“His condition is currently described as critical and his next of kin have been informed.
“The place where this incident occurred is right by the ground and was heaving with fans making their way to the game.
“I would appeal to anyone who has any information, or mobile phone footage of the incident to contact us urgently, as information they have could be vital to our investigation.”
Both clubs released statements condemning the attack.
Liverpool FC said: “Liverpool Football Club is shocked and appalled after a Liverpool supporter was left in a critical condition having been attacked prior to the Champions League fixture against AS Roma.
“Our thoughts, in the first instance, are with the victim and his family at this very traumatic time. We will be offering them our full support.
“The club has been liaising with the emergency services since the incident occurred and will continue to do so.”
AS Roma also released a statement condemning the behaviour of “a small minority of traveling fans”.
The statement said: “There is no place for this type of vile behavior in football and the club is now cooperating with Liverpool Football Club, UEFA and the authorities.
“The club’s thoughts and prayers are with the 53-year-old Liverpool fan in hospital and his family at this time.”