1 Year Ago Today: Jermain Defoe Led Bradley Lowery Out As Mascot For England
Bradley Lowery's battle with Neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancer that mostly affects young children, was a long and difficult one, but one man was a constant in the months before his passing.
From proudly clasping Bradley's hand as he walked out at Wembley before England's win over Lithuania to visiting the youngster in hospital on a regular basis, Jermain Defoe became an important part of his life and their friendship blossomed.
Defoe's relationship with Bradley captured the hearts of a nation, as they formed an incredibly special bond over a short period.
The vote is in! :white_check_mark:- Wembley Stadium (@wembleystadium) December 27, 2017
Bradley Lowery and Jermain Defoe leading the team out at Wembley takes the win :heart:
Next Quarter Final coming up at 6pm :boom: pic.twitter.com/5N0dPzR26x
One of the moments involving Bradley and Jermain that captured the hearts of a nation happened in March 26 last year, when the-then Sunderland forward led the youngster out as a mascot for England's game at Wembley Stadium.
Defoe visited Bradley in hospital as he underwent treatment and also attended his birthday party with Sunderland teammate Vito Mannone, but this moment has to go down as the most memorable.
A truly special occasion.
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Defoe continued to support the youngster, but the brave young lad from Blackhall Colliery, near Hartlepool, broke the heart of a nation on Friday 7 July when he lost his battle against Neuroblastoma.
Hundreds of thousands rallied together to help him and his family battle this debilitating disease as Bradley's incredible journey sadly ended in 2017.
The former Sunderland and Tottenham striker paid tribute to his best friend on Twitter shortly after his passing and wrote an incredibly powerful and emotional letter.
Sleep tight little one... :blue_heart: pic.twitter.com/iGqLXdvlVi- Jermain Defoe (@IAmJermainDefoe) July 8, 2017
Defoe revealed that the youngster changed him as a person.
"People talk about obviously what I bring to his life but I can honestly say how he has changed me as a person you know, going to visit him in hospital." Defoe said in an interview with Lorraine Kelly.
Bradley's legacy will live on forever and the Bradley Lowery Foundation continue to do great work in the community.
We will never forget you, Bradley.