Bradley Lowery’s mother and Jermain Defoe have paid tribute to their ‘angel in the sky’ on what would have been his eighth birthday today.
Gemma Lowery posted an emotional message on Twitter alongside a picture of her and Bradley as she remembered the six birthdays she spent with her son who died in July 2017.
She said: ‘Happy eighth birthday to my angel in the sky, I remember all six birthdays we had together like it was yesterday, I wish you could be here to celebrate more.
Gemma Lowery posted this picture of her and her son Bradley today on what would have been his eighth birthday
The mother paid tribute to her ‘angel in the sky’ and remembered the six happy birthdays they spent together before he died in 2017
‘Make sure you have a big party up in the sky today.
‘I miss you baby boy, mammy loves you all the way to the stars and back again.’
Bradley’s best friend Jermain Defoe then tweeted a picture with the caption: ‘Me and Gemma know you’re having the best party up there today mate. We miss you every day.’
Sunderland fan Bradley lost his battle with a rare form of cancer called neuroblastoma two years ago, but not before he touched the nation with his remarkable story and beautiful friendship.
Bradley’s best friend Jermain Defoe posted a photograph of the two of them with the then Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone, saying he misses the youngster every day
In 2013 Gemma started a fundraising campaign to get Bradley treatment in the USA, which was not available in the UK.
With the support of thousands of people and many within the football community, the campaign raised £1.3million.
The youngster from Blackhall Colliery in County Durham then became inseparable from the then Sunderland and England striker Jermain Defoe after meeting him as a mascot.
Bradley and the Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe then started an unlikely friendship that saw the pair become inseparable right until the end
The football-mad youngster captured the heart of the nation with his positive attitude and cheeky smile despite going through unimaginable difficulty
Sunderland-mad Bradley led his beloved Black Cats out on to the pitch before receiving a round of applause during the fifth minute at the Stadium of Light in a game against Everton.
Supporters of both clubs sang ‘there’s only one Bradley Lowery’, before a banner carrying the message ‘we’re with you, Bradley’ was unfurled at the stadium.
Three months later, Bradley took to the hallowed turf of the Stadium of Light once again when Sunderland faced Chelsea in the Premier League.
Meeting his favourite player Defoe once again, Bradley scored a pre-match penalty against Asmir Begovic which effort saw him win Match of the Day’s goal of the month competition in December 2016.
Defoe walked out Bradley on to Wembley ahead of an England match but the roar of the crowd was too much for the youngster to handle
Bradley and Defoe’s friendship continued to grow and the England striker even carried him on to the pitch ahead of an international at Wembley.
Defoe scored and dedicated the goal to Bradley, saying it was the best moment of his career.
The footballer regularly visited his unlikely friend in hospital and in the process created a lasting relationship with his family.
Following Bradley’s passing, Defoe said: ‘He was my best friend. He was genuine. He loved his football. He loved me and I loved him. There was nothing I could give him apart from just being a friend.’
The Bradley Lowery Foundation was set up in his name raises funds for research into neuroblastoma and Defoe has played a leading role in helping to keep the cause in the public eye.