Bradley Lowery’s mum says she is ‘overwhelmed’ with Sunderland AFC for launching a new campaign and shirt in his honour.
The club has launched a special campaign, For Bradley, with the aim of raising enough money to create a holiday home, Bradley’s Place, which will provide families with sick children a place to spend special time together.
The Black Cats will raise the money through the sale of a special edition home shirt - named ‘Bradley’s Shirt’ - which will be worn by the players on Saturday during their game against Millwall.
The six-year-old Blackhall boy, who sadly lost his battle with neuroblastoma earlier this year, was one of the Black Cats’ biggest fans.
Mum Gemma said: “Sunderland was Bradley’s life, all he ever wanted to do was be on that pitch.
“He will be looking down and saying ‘I want one of those shirts’.
It helps me get up in the morning that I am helping other families to make the best of their time togetherGemma Lowery
“In his last week of being on this earth the club brought him the new shirt before it was released. He was so ill he could hardly lift his head up, but he was determined to put the shirt on and he wore it for his final few days.”
Gemma said she was ‘overwhelmed’ when the club approached her with the idea of raising money for a holiday home.
She said: “The last holiday we had with Bradley, a few weeks before he passed away, was in a Scarborough. We had a fanatastic time and made so many wonderful memories.
“Having all these wonderful memories is what keeps me going on a day to day basis and I have said a lot that I want to help other sick children and their families make special memories.
“I was overwhelmed by the club’s gesture. When they approached me with the idea, I just thought ‘wow, that is amazing’.
“Bradley had a whale of a time doing all the things he did. When I look at my photographs and videos I think how lucky I am to have these amazing memories that I will carry for the rest of my life.
“I want to be able to give as many other sick children as possible some special experiences.
“It helps me get up in the morning that I am helping other families to make the best of their time together.”
Gemma said she would love the holiday home to be in Scarborough because her family had such an amazing time there, but nothing has been decided yet.
She said it will be decided at a later date if they are going to build a holiday home or refurbish somewhere and, although they do not have a figure yet, the project will cost a lot of money.
Bradley, who fought a long, brave battle with neuroblastoma before passing away in July, touched the hearts of football fans across the world after appearing as a mascot on a number of occasions for his beloved Sunderland.
The new special edition shirt features his trademark ‘thumbs up’ as well as a heart.
Saturday’s opponents Millwall are backing the campaign, and both teams will wear special warm-up shirts carrying the For Bradley logo before the match.
Millwall fans will present a cheque to the Bradley Lowery Foundation at half-time, while a range of activities will take place.
In tribute to Bradley, the Black Cats will be led out by 13-year-old Thomas Bypus, who became great friends with Bradley when they were both receiving treatment at the RVI, in Newcastle.
Bradley’s Shirt is available to buy from the Sunderland AFC club shop, or via safcstore.com, from Saturday, priced at £39.99 for juniors and £49.99 for adults.
Sunderland AFC is calling on supporters to show their support for the For Bradley campaign by repeating a gesture synonymous with the schoolboy, the double thumbs-up.
It is asking people to share pictures or videos of themselves giving a double thumbs-up, using the #ForBradley hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.
The club has also asked footballers to make it their goal celebration, with the hope that players across the country will get involved.
A special For Bradley social media frame has also been launched so people can add it to their profiles across a range of platforms, including Twitter and Facebook.