De­foe: I still cry over Bradley

Footie star thinks of can­cer lad daily

Irish Sunday Mirror - - NEWS - EX­CLU­SIVE BY SI­MON MULLOCK si­mon.mullock@sun­daymir­

SOC­CER star Jermain De­foe says he still cries when he thinks about the death of his young soul­mate Bradley Low­ery. The striker, who was 35 yes­ter­day, has pic­tures of the six-year-old in his house and keeps in con­tact with his par­ents Gemma and Carl – who he de­scribes as “a beau­ti­ful family”. De­foe says of brave Bradley, who died from neu­rob­las­toma can­cer in July: “I’ll never for­get him. I still have mes­sages on my phone – and videos. “I think about him ev­ery sin­gle day and get up­set about his death be­cause it is still fresh... the pain he went through. It was a tough time but our re­la­tion­ship was spe­cial. Bradley al­ways cracked a smile. He was a spe­cial kid.”

Bradley, from Black­hall Col­liery, Co Durham, was a Sun­der­land fan and grew close to De­foe, then the club’s top striker.

The young­ster was Eng­land’s mas­cot when they played Lithua­nia in March.

De­foe, who is in the squad for to­day’s re­turn fix­ture in Lithua­nia, added: “I al­ways had a good feel­ing inside af­ter meet­ing Bradley. He would jump up as soon as he saw me.”

The star, now with Bournemouth FC, was pic­tured hug­ging Bradley in a tear­jerk­ing last visit be­fore the lad died.

And he added: “I’m blessed that I knew him.”

FI­NAL HUG Jermain and Bradley’s last get-to­gether

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