Bradley Lowery was the boy who touched the hearts of millions across the globe. Although he came to the attention of the public because of his battle with cancer, it was his courage, fighting spirit and megawatt smile that will linger longest in the memory.
Bradley, who sadly past away on Friday afternoon, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2013, but packed so much into his short time, touching the lives of so many along the way.
Despite being just six years old and struggling with his debilitating disease, he bought so much joy to those around him – and one man in particular.
The young Sunderland fan left an indelible mark on the hearts of football fans across the globe despite his tender years, hitting the headlines with his infectious smile and love for the Black Cats.
He described striker Jermain Defoe, now with Bournemouth, as his ‘best friend’, and the pair made plenty of high-profile appearances together.
The youngster led his favourite team out alongside Defoe in September against Everton last year, receiving a rapturous reception from the crowd. The Toffees later donated £200,000 to help the Lowery family pay for treatment in America.