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.
Defoe was introduced as a Bournemouth player on Thursday and was overcome with emotion when asked about Bradley.