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Jermain Defoe posts heart-warming Bradley Lowery message on what would have been his seventh birthday

Mirror logo Mirror 17/05/2018 Jake Polden

Jermain Defoe has posted a heart-warming tribute to Bradley Lowery on what would have been his seventh birthday.

The Bournemouth striker became best friends with the youngster, who was battling a rare form of cancer known as neuroblastoma, when he was at Sunderland last season.

Bradley, a passionate Black Cats supporter, was often seen accompanying Defoe at the Stadium of Light as a mascot, and even walked out onto the Wembley pitch with his hero ahead of England's international friendly with Lithuania.

Bradley, from Blackhall Colliery, County Durham, survived to see his sixth birthday last year but died in July.

a man holding a baby: Credits: Daily Mirror © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Daily Mirror

Defoe paid tribute on Twitter on Thursday, saying: "Bradley would have been seven years old today. I know you're up there smiling down on us, especially your mum, dad and brother, and I bet you're throwing another memorable party.

"Happy birthday, mate. We miss you and love you more than you'll ever know."

Bradley's mother Gemma and Defoe's partner Rachael Calvert will complete a parachute jump together to raise funds for the Bradley Lowery Foundation, which helps seriously ill children.

Writing on the foundation's Facebook page, his mother said: "Happy 7th birthday to my beautiful angel up in heaven.

"Mammy, daddy and your big brother Kieran love you and miss you more than any words could ever describe.

a young boy in a red shirt: Credits: Getty Images Europe © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Getty Images Europe

"Our hearts are broken and will never be fixed, waking up on Brad's birthday without him here is horrendous.

"My house should be filled with excitement and laughter but instead it's replaced with sadness and tears."

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