Sunderland to pay tribute to Bradley Lowery at first league game of the season against Derby

Bradley Lowery
Bradley Lowery

Sunderland AFC will pay tribute to Bradley Lowery ahead of the opening game of the season, when they welcome Derby County to the Stadium of Light next week.

Bradley shared a close bond with players and staff at Sunderland AFC, in particular "best friend" Jermain Defoe, and fans took the youngster to their hearts as he fought neuroblastoma with tenacity, courage and a smile that endeared him to the world.

Martin Bain, chief executive of Sunderland AFC, said: his passing has had a "profound effect" on everyone and the club is continuing to help and support the Lowery family through this unimaginably difficult time.

A minute’s applause will be held before kick-off on Friday evening, with players, club officials and supporters joining together to remember the very special young man, whose bravery has inspired so many.

Mr Bain said: “Bradley had the most amazing impact on our club and the wider football community. It is fitting that we can come together at our first league game of the new season to pay tribute to this wonderful little boy, whose love for Sunderland was evident for all to see”.

He added: "Moving forward, to ensure that Bradley continues to make a difference to the lives of others, the Bradley Lowery Foundation is in the process of being confirmed as a registered charity, with the aim of offering help and support to youngsters and their families who are facing challenges, just as Bradley did.

"Sunderland AFC is working alongside the Lowery family to support the work of the Foundation."