David Kelly: 'Liverpool in Croke Park would be perfect fundraiser for Seán Cox'
Anyone who has made the pilgrimage to Anfield – as so many thousands from this country have done down the decades – will know the famous Albert Pub.
Nestling on the corner of the road, a booming clearance away from the Kop, it is a landmark building, often as much a meeting point as anything else.
Which is why the vicious, life-changing assault on Dunboyne fan Seán Cox struck a chord with not only Liverpool fans, but the wider football family and indeed the sporting community throughout these islands.
For it could have been anyone. It just happened that cruel fate pointed its wicked finger at an innocent Irishman, entangled in a momentary explosion of horrific violence, the consequences of which, while mercifully not fatal, will still linger for a lifetime.
The county final success last month by St Peter’s Dunboyne in Meath reminded all of the ecumenical nature of Cox’s life, and the deep and meaningful impact he has made on his locality.
But he is, first and foremost, a father, a husband, a son, an uncle, a brother; and a friend to so many.
Justice, however it is served, will merely offer scant consolation. As his wife, Martina, has indicated, the soaring costs of rehabilitation which will need to be provided in the future will soon present a formidable obstacle.
They will be reliant on their own limited resources to fund potentially limitless costs once the current rehab course concludes.
A gofundme campaign, with a €2m target has raised €200,000.
It is a mightily impressive effort, with this country’s historic capacity for generosity being matched by the supporters and employees of Liverpool FC, a club in a city that is no stranger to tragedy.
And yet there may be a sense that anyone who has decided to make a donation has already done so. A bucket collection at Liverpool’s home match against Cardiff raised €35,000 and this was matched by the club themselves.
They also helped to organise flights and accommodation while the family attended their beloved’s bedside. In private, Liverpool are now assessing how best to contribute to the family’s uncertain future and their commitment to the cause will be awaited with interest.
One idea might be to mirror the success of Liam Miller tribute match in September by arranging a charity match in Croke Park. Cox is a member of the GAA family, too.
And Liverpool’s dedication to their loyal fan base, as outlined in their club charter, might also persuade them to join in such a fitting venture.
It shouldn’t have happened to anyone. But it did. Soon his story will be forgotten. It should not be allowed to.
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