Jermain Defoe calls on public to back Bradley Lowery charity football match

Jermain Defoe has given his support to the upcoming Bradley Lowery Celebrity Charity Match has urged people to buy tickets and support the foundation set up in the youngster's memory.

Former Sunderland striker Defoe, now at AFC Bournemouth, forged a close friendship with Bradley and his family after meeting the brave young Black Cats fan when he was the mascot for their game against Everton last season.

Bradley Lowery with Jermain Defoe.

Bradley Lowery with Jermain Defoe.

In the months that followed, Defoe's support for Bradley and his family touched the hearts of the footballing world, culminating with the duo leading England out at Wembley in March for the World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.

Defoe will again be on international duty this weekend, meaning he won't be able to attend this Sunday's game at Goodison Park.

But he has shown his support for a game that will celebrate the life of Bradley by sharing a video message, saying: “The game will be special for me watching it for obvious reasons – the relationship I had with Bradley, my best friend, and I am still close to his family.

“I want to thank Everton on behalf of the Lowery family, and my family, for what they have done and for their support in helping the family in putting on this game; it’s going to be a great occasion.

"I also want to thank all of the players and everyone involved – it’s for a great cause and hopefully we can raise a lot of money for the Foundation and for a wonderful family.”

The match, which has been put together with the support of Sellebrity Soccer, will see a host of celebrities lace up their boots in support of the Bradley Lowery Foundation and Everton in the Community.

In a nod to his favourite football teams, Bradley's family have chosen the team names ‘Bradley’s Blues’ and ‘The Lowery Legends’.

Boxer Tony Bellew will manage ‘Bradley’s Blues’ with players including Olly Murs, Stephen Graham, Shayne Ward and Everton legends Peter Beardsley and Alan Stubbs whilst Katie Price and Roy Evans will take control of ‘The Lowery Legends’ including Calum Best, Jeremy Lynch, Josh Cuthbert and former Black Cats players Don Hutchinson and Alex Rae.

In addition to AFC Bournemouth and Jermain Defoe’s support, the Bradley Lowery Celebrity Charity Match has garnered the backing of many fellow Premier League clubs, and the Premier League itself, as they have promoted the game to their fans through their social media platforms.

Tickets are priced at £10 for adults and £5 for Under-16s and can be bought online at www.evertonfc.com/bradley or over the phone on 0151 556 1878.

Alternatively, they can also be bought from Goodison Road ticket office or the club’s Liverpool city centre ticket facility in Everton Two.

Booking fees apply to telephone sales.