Football fan Bradley Lowery, who touched the football world with his bravery and enthusiasm despite suffering from an incurable form of cancer, has passed away at the age of six.
Bradley, who was a fan of English club Sunderland, had been battling neuroblastoma and had become unresponsive while in hospital on Thursday.
My brave boy has went with the angels today 07/07/17 at 13:35, in mammy and daddies arms surrounded by his… https://t.co/AowNwemgh3
— Bradley Lowery (@Bradleysfight) July 7, 2017
“My brave boy has went with the angels today 07/07/17 at 13:35, in mammy and daddies arms surrounded by his family,” Bradley’s mother Gemma wrote in a Facebook post.
“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 angels.”
During his treatment, Bradley had struck up a particularly close relationship with former Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe, who broke down in tears when asked about the boy in a press conference on Thursday.
Sunderland released a statement following the news, in which they extended their “love and support” to Bradley’s family including his parents, Gemma and Carl, and his brother Kieran.
Tributes poured in from the sporting world in memory of Bradley, including from English Premier League champions Chelsea and also Everton, who had presented Bradley with a personalized shirt last season.
Bradley became popular among sports fans during his courageous battle with the disease and was often invited onto the pitch at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light home ground.
On such time was during Sunderland’s match against Chelsea, when Bradley joined Defoe and Chelsea forward Diego Costa for a kick-around in the pre-match warm-up.
It was then that Spain international Costa made one of Bradley’s wishes come true by setting the ball on the penalty spot with Sunderland keeper Asmir Begovic in goal.
An excited Bradley made his run-up and slotted the ball past Begovic to achieve his dream of scoring at the home of his idols.
The goal was followed by a Twitter campaign launched by a range of high-profile sporting accounts encouraging social media users to retweet and help the strike be officially recognized as the Premier League ‘Goal of the Month’ for December.
Bradley’s spot kick was eventually recognized officially by Match of the Day as Goal of the Month.
Charity fundraisers were also organised for the young fan, who was from County Durham, UK. Fans raised £700,000 (US$ 870,000) for him to receive treatment and regularly sing “There’s only one Bradley Lowery” on the terraces in his honor.
Rest in peace Bradley Lowery.