Sunderland at Wembley: Gemma Lowery shares heartfelt message to son Bradley two years on from England mascot appearance
Charity founder Gemma Lowery has spoken of how proud her son Bradley would be as Sunderland head to Wembley this weekend.
Six-year-old Bradley Lowery, who lost his life after battling neuroblastoma cancer in July 2017, was a huge Sunderland fan, and acted as their mascot at a number of games.
And in 2017, young Bradley was granted the honour of leading out the national side as England faced Lithuania in a World Cup qualifier, accompanied by best friend and striker Jermain Defoe.
Yesterday marked two years since the game, which took place on Mothering Sunday.
Mum Gemma took to social media on Tuesday to remember the special occasion.
In a message on the Bradley Lowery Foundation Twitter (@Bradleysfight), Gemma said: "2 years ago today, Bradley led out England at Wembley. I will be there on Sunday cheering on @SunderlandAFC, Bradley will [be] so proud. Thank you to everyone who has bought #forbrad tops for the match."
Speaking as Sunderland's place in the Checkatrade Trophy final was sealed earlier this month, Gemma said she knew her son would be watching down on his team and helping the fans celebrate when the Black Cats lift the trophy.
She also said it felt "right" to return to Wembley this Sunday, Mother's Day, for the first time since Bradley's trip as mascot.
Ahead of the match, which is expected to be attended by around 40,000 Sunderland fans, supporter Kevin Ball launched an appeal to get around of applause across the stadium on the sixth minute in Bradley's honour.
Kevin, 47, said the response to his idea had been "overwhelming" and that fans of both Sunderland and Portsmouth, the Black Cats' opponents in Sunday's final, were on board.
There have also been calls for fans to put their hands together on the 18th minute of the match in memory of Sunderland teenager Connor Brown, who died in February after a stabbing in the city centre.