Party to celebrate cancer boy Bradley Lowery’s sixth birthday


Bradley Lowery and Jermain DefoeImage copyright PA
Image caption Jermain Defoe has developed a close friendship with Bradley

Hundreds of people have attended a birthday party for terminally-ill Sunderland fan Bradley Lowery.

The event in the youngster’s home village of Blackhall in County Durham ends a memorable week in which he was also named a “child of courage”.

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Bradley, who has struck up a remarkable friendship with England footballer Jermain Defoe, was in hospital on Wednesday when he turned six.

Defoe was one of 250 well-wishers at a marquee at the village cricket club.


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Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Bradley’s mother Gemma thanked well-wishers for their support

At the weekend Defoe carried Bradley onto the pitch as mascot for Sunderland’s last home game and on Thursday he was on the red carpet with him as he was named child of courage at the Pride of North East Awards.

Bradley, who has the rare childhood cancer neuroblastoma, has touched millions of people as well as the world of football.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Family photos of Bradley were on display at the party

Fans of different clubs have sung his name at matches and held banners for him.

An appeal to send him Christmas cards ended with him receiving 315,000 through the post.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Sunderland’s Jermain Defoe was joined by other players, including Vito Mannone (left)

On Wednesday, his family posted a video of Bradley in hospital in which he smiled and put his thumbs up, saying: “Thank you for my birthday messages everyone.”

In April, it was confirmed the latest and final round of Bradley’s treatment had failed and the family vowed to continue “creating memories”.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Bradley celebrated with a cake decorated with super heroes

His mother, Gemma Lowery, said: “I’m absolutely over the moon that we have managed to get this far and celebrate Bradley’s sixth birthday with all of our family and friends.

“He is actually a lot better than he has been, he’s still obviously poorly and in a lot of pain but he has rested well in bed all day and he was raring to go tonight.

“We are very grateful for Jermain to have taken Bradley in his heart. He is obviously now a friend of the family rather than Bradley’s idol – although he is still Bradley’s idol.

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“He makes Bradley happy and he makes Bradley smile, and it’s just lovely to see him with him.”

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Image copyright PA
Image caption A banner featuring family photos of Bradley greeted well-wishers

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