Jermain Defoe chokes back tears as he attends 'best friend' Bradley Lowery's funeral in England shirt

Former Sunderland footballer Jermain Defoe wore an England shirt for the funeral of his six-year-old "best friend", Bradley Lowery, whose cancer battle captured hearts around the world.

Friday, 14th July 2017, 12:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 7:58 am
Jermain Defoe outside St Joseph's Church in Blackhall, County Durham. where the funeral of Bradley Lowery, the six-year-old football mascot whose cancer battle captured hearts around the world, took place. Picture by: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

A piper led the horse-drawn carriage carrying his coffin through the village, which came to a halt to pay tribute to the little boy with the beaming smile.

David Moyes (centre) outside St Joseph's Church in Blackhall, County Durham, where the funeral of Bradley Lowery, the six-year-old football mascot whose cancer battle captured hearts around the world, took place. Picture by: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

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Some released balloons as the cortege passed and a spontaneous round of applause broke out.

Mourners dressed in superhero costumes followed the funeral procession.

Defoe, now signed for Bournemouth, left training in Spain to attend.

Former Sunderland FC manager David Moyes was also among the congregation.

David Moyes (centre) outside St Joseph's Church in Blackhall, County Durham, where the funeral of Bradley Lowery, the six-year-old football mascot whose cancer battle captured hearts around the world, took place. Picture by: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Defoe struck up a remarkable friendship with Bradley after the little boy appeared as a mascot for his beloved Sunderland.

Bradley died a week ago in his parents' arms at home following a battle with the rare childhood cancer neuroblastoma.