The sad news reaching us this afternoon is that Bradley Lowery, the little Sunderland fan who, has passed away.
Little Bradley fought for all he was worth against a neuroblastoma, a rare form of terminal childhood cancer, but sadly succumbed to the disease on Friday afternoon.
My brave boy has went with the angels today 07/07/17 at 13:35, in mammy and daddies arms surrounded by his… https://t.co/AowNwemgh3
— Bradley Lowery (@Bradleysfight) July 7, 2017
Indeed, Jermain Defoe broke down when asked about Bradley’s condition during his maiden Bournemouth press conference yesterday after learning that the youngster was unresponsive in hospital – tearfully admitting that it was probably ‘only a matter of days’.
— ITV News Tyne Tees (@itvtynetees) July 6, 2017
The pair forged a special bond after Defoe first went to visit Bradley in hospital back in February, with the youngster serving as the striker’s player escort at both club and international level.
Having touched so many people’s hearts in such a short period of time, it’s hardly surprising that football queued up to offer condolences when the bad, but sadly inevitable news broke…
There’s only one Bradley Lowery. pic.twitter.com/dzW6mB9lAN
— England (@England) July 7, 2017
You were an inspiration, Bradley, and you will never be forgotten.
May you rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/2YVktfXLcQ
— EFL (@EFL) July 7, 2017
— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) July 7, 2017
— Everton (@Everton) July 7, 2017
— Premier League (@premierleague) July 7, 2017
💙 | Rest in peace, Bradley.
— PFA (@PFA) July 7, 2017
The little fellow was a trooper right to the end, refusing to let his illness impinge on his life in any way.
There are already calls for Defoe to be made Sports Personality of the Year or similar for the time he gave to Bradley, though we’re thoroughly certain that’s the last thing he’d want given the circumstances.
Still, both parties were immense during Bradley’s final months.
RIP Bradley – You gave it a right good go, sunshine!