Soccer world reacts to passing of Sunderland superfan Bradley Lowery
Six-year-old Sunderland fan Bradley Lowery lost his battle with cancer on Friday. The terminally ill Bradley developed a touching bond with Sunderland star Jermain Defoe as he battled neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer. He's served as one of the club's "mascots" and joined Defoe on the field in Wembley Stadium prior to a World Cup qualifying match against Lithuania on March 26.
In the last several weeks Defoe has publicly been at Bradley's side, attending his birthday party and visiting him recently, after which he admitted Bradley's condition was worsening rapidly. Bradley's parents shared the devastating news on Facebook Friday: "My brave boy went with the angels today 07/07/17 at 13:35, in mammy and daddies arms surrounded by his family. He was our little superhero and put the biggest fight up but he was needed else where. There are no words to describe how heart broken we are."
The soccer world shared countless heartfelt messages Friday and praised Bradley for his fight with cancer.
Terribly sad to hear that little Bradley Lowery has passed away. A warrior and an inspiration to the end. RIP Bradley.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) July 7, 2017
RIP Bradley. An inspirational boy – we’re all thinking of you here at Manchester United.— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 7, 2017
R.I.P Bradley Lowery you are with the angels now. You are a true inspiration & fighter. Blessing & Love 💔— daRealAAkinfenwa (@daRealAkinfenwa) July 7, 2017
Bradley was an inspiration to everyone. Our thoughts are with you all at this sad time. May he rest in peace.— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 7, 2017
Defoe was introduced as a Bournemouth player on Thursday and was overcome with emotion when asked about Bradley.