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Jermain Defoe reveals he still wakes up everyday and thinks about Bradley Lowery as he opens up about tragic loss

Mirror logo Mirror 13/09/2017 Kyle O'Sullivan
Credits: ITV © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: ITV

Jermain Defoe has revealed he still wakes up everyday and thinks about Bradley Lowery.

Little Bradley’s devastating battle with childhood cancer touched the nation, but tragically the the six-year-old tragically lost his fight on July 7.

His little smile captured the hearts of the country and the Premier League footballer, who said Bradley touched his life "in a big way".

Jermain opened up about their close bond during an interview via live feed on This Morning, while Bradley's parents joined Phil and Holly in the studio.

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Jermain spoke fondly of his memories with little Bradley, who accompanied him onto the football field for Sunderland and England matches.

He said: "He touched my life in a big way to be honest. It was difficult as there were times I'd see Brads before the game and he'd walk out with me and I could see he was in pain.

"I didn't want to leave him but I had to play the game. His fight, enthusiasm and strength went such a long way."

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The footballer, who was being interviewed from Bournemouth, the location of his new club, admitted it was hard to keep his emotions in.

Revealing how often he thinks about Bradley, he said: "Everyday before every game. Towards the end of my time at Sunderland he used to walk out with me because he loved his football and that's when he came alive. He was always with me walking out.

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"There's times now before games I'm so used to Brads being beside me giving me that bit of strength. It's been difficult. Every day I wake up and think about Brads, it's still fresh.

"But there are so many memories. I’m blessed to have been able to have the relationship with him and the family."

Credits: REX/Shutterstock

Credits: REX/Shutterstock
© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc

In the studio, Bradley's mum Gemma and dad Carl praised their brave son and revealed they want their son’s legacy to live on through a charity in his memory.

Gemma is determined to help and support the families of other sick children, in the hope they can avoid the heartache her family has been through.

She said: "Bradley was always very caring and wanted to look after other people regardless if he was poorly or not. I just wanted to to take that forward and build his legacy and help other people with the Bradley Lowery Foundation."

Credits: Sunderland AFC © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Sunderland AFC

The objectives of the Bradley Lowery Foundation are to support families of poorly children by helping them run successful fundraising campaigns.

Grants will also be given out from the hundreds of thousands of pounds raised in brave Bradley's memorial and be able to lend emotional support as a parent who has been through the worst.

Explaining the reason behind the charity, Gemma added: "So that they don’t forget what he’s done and that smile - we want to put smiles on other children's faces."

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