A court in the UK has been told that the Italian man accused of inflicting grievous bodily harm on Irish Liverpool supporter Sean Cox in April was one of two men involved in the assault.

Filippo Lombardi, 21, from Rome denies the charge against him. His trial began this morning at Preston Crown Court.

Mr Cox's wife Martina and family members are in court for the proceedings.

Mr Cox had traveled to the Liverpool for the Champions League semi-final match between Liverpool FC and Roma on 24 April and was assaulted outside club's grounds at Anfield.

In his opening statement, prosecuting counsel Neville Biddle said the prosecution will contend this was a joint attack by two men – Mr Lombardi and another man referred to in court as "N40".

The other man struck the blow which rendered Mr Cox unconscious, but Mr Biddle said the prosecution will contend that this was a joint attack by the two, who were acting together and therefore equally responsible for the attack.

Defence counsel Alison Gurden told the court that Mr Lombardi accepts that his behaviour on that day was unacceptable and he has pleaded guilty to another charge of violent disorder.

Ms Gurden said there was no dispute that Mr Cox had suffered catastrophic injuries and he suffered those injuries due to the fact that he was punched.

But Mr Lombardi did not deliver that punch., Ms Gurden said.

Mr Cox, who is originally from Dublin, spent almost five weeks at the Walton Neurological Centre in Liverpool being treated for his injuries.

He has since been transferred to Ireland for continuing medical treatment at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dún Laoghaire.

The trial is expected to last into next week.