Jermain Defoe's final message to Bradley Lowery is heartbreaking

“Your courage and bravery will continue to inspire me for the rest of my life,” Defoe wrote.

Jermain Defoe has shared some words following the loss of his “best friend” Bradley Lowery.

The six-year-old passed away on Friday after battling a rare cancer since the age of 18 months.

Bournemouth striker Defoe and Bradley struck up a close friendship during Defoe’s time at Sunderland, who Bradley supported, and Defoe spent some time with him during his final days.

“Your courage and bravery will continue to inspire me for the rest of my life,” Defoe wrote.

“You will never know what a difference you made to me as a person. God has you in his arms and I will always carry you in my heart. Sleep tight little one. My best friend.”

The six-year-old touched hearts across the world after appearing as a mascot for Sunderland several times over the course of the last season, after being diagnosed with neuroblastoma at just 18 months old.

Defoe was Bradley’s favourite player, and the two spent a lot of time together – with Bradley even accompanying Defoe during his first England appearance in four years.

The former Tottenham striker broke down in tears at the end of his Bournemouth unveiling earlier in the week when asked about Bradley.

Sunderland paid tribute to Bradley with a minute’s applause ahead of their friendly match against Bury, with Bury donating all gate receipts to the Bradley Lowery Foundation.

The family announced Bradley’s death over Facebook. Bradley’s mum Gemma Lowery said: “My brave boy has 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.

“Thank you everyone for all your support and kind words. Sleep tight baby boy and fly high with them angel.”

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access