On Friday, thousands will flock to the Aviva Stadium in support of Seán Cox one year on from the brutal attack outside Anfield that left him battling for his life.
A Liverpool Legends XI is set to take on an Irish Legends XI with all the proceeds going to the Seán Cox Rehabilitation Trust.
Jason McAteer will represent both sides on Friday and speaking at last month’s launch, he claimed he would have been disappointed not to be involved having met Mr Cox’s wife, Martina last year before a Liverpool pre-season friendly at the Aviva.
“Well, I hoped I was going to be involved having played for both, I’d have been disappointed if I wasn’t asked. Obviously, we know the story first hand, the day it happened with Seán being Irish, I’ve had a close following.
“I came over as a club ambassador for the Napoli game, where we met up with Martina and the family and got a behind-the-scenes take on what had happened and the impact it had on the family and how difficult it was for them.
“It’s a relatively young family and what the kids have had to go through is just an absolute nightmare. So, we’ve been following, me personally but obviously the football club as well, the likes of Robbie (Fowler) and Macca (Steve McManamon) are always asking me have I heard anything and ‘what’s going on?’ and then when the opportunity to put the game on came along, it was going to be nothing else but a yes from me.”
The game on Friday will see some stars of old descend upon Landsdowne Road with Liverpool legends such as Jerzy Dudek, Vladimir Smicer and Djibril Cisse taking on an Irish side containing the likes of Kevin Kilbane, Kenny Cunningham and Kevin Doyle.
McAteer will represent both sides on the day alongside Robbie Keane, Phil Babb and John Aldridge and the 52-time capped international praised the strength of Martina Cox in raising so much money to help her husband, highlighting that no family should have to endure what they have over the past 12 months.
“Yeah, something she should never have had to be involved in, no-one should go to a football match and sadly end up in this situation and like Martina says, it is what it is and you’ve got to deal with it. You can sit around and wait for other people to do things, or you can be proactive and do it yourself.
“That’s what the football club has done. Behind the scenes, the team that have helped put it on, the club and the FAI have all done a phenomenal job, because I know first-hand just how difficult it is putting a charity event on. And they’ve done a phenomenal job.”
“As ex-players, our job is relatively easy — we just turn up and play… but it’s all about raising as much money as we can for Seán’s rehabilitation and that means creating as much awareness as we can for the game. Hopefully we can fill the stadium and raise as much money as we can.”
Earlier this week it was reported that Seán Cox will leave the rehabilitation centre in Dun Laoghaire where he has been receiving treatment for the first time on Friday in order to attend the game.