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Ireland manager Mick McCarthy thanks fans for supporting Sean Cox

Almost 25,000 tickets sold for legends match at Aviva Stadium

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has thanked fans for their support of the Sean Cox game at the Aviva Stadium this Friday night featuring the Republic of Ireland Legends against the Liverpool Legends.

Almost 25,000 tickets have been sold for the game to date with tickets still available via Ticketmaster.ie until half an hour before kick-off at 7.45pm.

McCarthy will take charge of an Ireland squad that includes his coach Robbie Keane along with fellow Anfield favourites Ronnie Whelan, John Aldridge, Jason McAteer, Ray Houghton and Phil Babb who will play for both sides.

Kop hero Kenny Dalglish will lead a Liverpool squad that includes Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler, Sami Hypia and Ian Rush.

All proceeds from the game will go to aid Sean’s recovery from the life-changing injuries he sustained when he was attacked outside Anfield ahead of the Liverpool-Roma Champions League semi-final last April.

“I am delighted that so many Ireland and Liverpool fans have already bought tickets for this game,” said McCarthy.

“I met with Sean’s wife Martina and their son Jack recently and I was really touched by their story and by Martina’s desire to do everything she can for Sean and for her family.

“Nobody should go to a football match like Sean did that night at Anfield and suffer these horrendous injuries. It is just not right and I am happy that we are all doing our bit to help out at the Aviva Stadium on Friday night.

“It struck me talking to Martina just how many lives have been changed by what happened that night at Anfield. The day we met, Jack had done just passed his driving test and Sean should have been there to celebrate the occasion with him.

“Of course I asked Martina how Sean is doing but I also asked her how she and the children are coping with this. It is not easy for anyone involved in this story and it just highlights the foibles and failings of life and shows how none of us can take anything for granted.”

McCarthy will resist any temptation to return to action with the Ireland Legends tonight but he is looking forward to managing Robbie Keane one more time.

The Ireland boss added: “I saw Robbie’s goal for the Spurs Legends against Inter Milan at the opening of the new Tottenham stadium. It was offside by the way but he swears different!

“I only have him for one half on Friday night but I am keen to partner him with Niall Quinn again. They didn’t do too badly for us over the years.”

With tickets still available online at Ticketmaster.ie up to 7.15pm tonight and collection points at the ground, McCarthy is encouraging fans to support the game.

He said: “This is one of those occasions when the football family really stands up to be counted. We support our own in times of distress and trouble and I know how much everyone wants Friday’s game to succeed.

“My Ireland captain Seamus Coleman has led by example and I would ask all football supporters, not just Ireland and Liverpool fans, to follow suit.”

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