Defoe's story of friendship moves football
The friendship between six-year old Bradley Lowery, who is a Sunderland supporter and footballer Jermain Defoe has moved world football.
Bradley is terminally-ill and suffers from neuroblastoma which is an aggressive type of cancer.
Earlier this week Bradley’s loved ones said that the youngster's health was rapidly deteriorating.
The child has a very strong friendship with Jermain Defoe since the latter’s Sunderland days.
Bradley asked his parents to organize a get-together at his house with all his friends and cousins in attendance and Defoe stopped by to give farewell cuddles to his little friend.
The pair shared a moving image of them locked in warm embrace which has touched people around the world of football.
According to Daily mail, the youngsters family say they believe Bradley wanted to see his loved ones altogether as a way of saying goodbye. At the beginning of June they said Bradley had just 'weeks' to live.
Sportsman Defoe, 34, has become close to Bradley and his mother Gemma after striking up a touching friendship with the youngster who was a mascot for Sunderland Football Club this season.
Defoe has been a great source of inspiration and hope for the young child battling cancer and for the former Sunderland man the relationship in reciprocal.
"The way Bradley reacted when his best friend Jermain came to visit him was so heart-warming," his mother Gemma said in a statement on the Bradley's Fight Facebook page.
"He was so happy and they lay there for ages getting cuddles.
"Bradley was really relaxed with him."
Defoe highlighted his friendship with Bradley as the high point in an otherwise difficult season where his team got relegated.
Defoe told talkSPORT: "Away from football, the relationship I've managed to have with Bradley and what I've brought to his life and he has brought to mine has been really special."
"It has been so sad to see him going through what he has when he is aged just six, but I still feel blessed that I am a part of his life."
During the season, Bradley was awarded December's Goal of the Month award for an effort he scored at a Sunderland game.
Happy Birthday to my best mate @Bradleysfight. Hope you have a special day and I'll see you later this week... #HappyBirthdayBrad pic.twitter.com/ugokGgdMS9Jermain Defoe (@IAmJermainDefoe) May 17, 2017
On March 26 Defoe led the England national team onto the pitch with his friend Bradley Lowery, England won the match 2–0 against Lithunia with Defoe scoring the first goal.