Former Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe has written an emotional tribute to six-year-old Bradley Lowery, who lost his fight with neuroblastoma yesterday.
The footballer and little Bradley, who called Defoe both his best friend and his hero, became inseparable in recent month as the youngster continued to fight against terminal cancer.
Now, Defoe has released a touching message to little Bradley, who died yesterday afternoon in the arms of his parents, and surrounded by his family.
In it, he said: "I feel so blessed God brought you into my life and had some amazing moments with you, and for that I'm so grateful.
"I'll never, ever forget the way you looked at me when I met you for the first time, the genuine love in those cute eyes."
Defoe, who signed for Bournemouth earlier this month, also spoke of the love he feels for Bradley, and continued: "Your courage and bravery will continue to inspire me for the rest of my life. You will never know what a difference you made to me as a person.
"God has you in his arms, and I will always carry you in my heart. Sleep tight little one. My best friend."