The young and amazing Bradley Lowery sadly passed away this week. Whilst the inspirational man left us far too early, we must take great comfort in knowing his last few months were made better by his best mate and at the time Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe.
Defoe could’ve signed Bradley a shirt or perhaps meet him once and that would’ve been a lovely gesture. But from the moment Bradley searched for him in the dressing room and sat on his lap there was a bond made that united these two. Since that moment Jermain Defoe went above and beyond to try and give this special child the joy and support he deserved.
The BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award is given to the person who has achieved the most that year.
Defoe’s achievements on the pitch may not be the most breathtaking but they were impressive nonetheless. At the age of 34 Defoe notched 15 Premier League goals in the worst team in the league. His performances meant he was reinstated to the England squad after over three years away from International football. Despite Sunderland’s relegation, Defoe enjoyed a successful year on a personal level, which has since seen him move back to the Premier League with Bournemouth.
However, Jermain Defoe’s main achievement was off the pitch. His main achievement was the joy and happiness he gave to Bradley Lowery. His friendship gave Bradley the strength to enjoy his last months. It can not be said enough how amazing Defoe was for Bradley and his family. Whether it was the little moments like having a cuddle or walking Bradley out as England’s mascot at Wembley, Defoe was always there for him.
Anthony Joshua is the current favourite for the award, but the calls for Jermain Defoe to win have gathered momentum on social media.
In his statement thanking Sunderland and their fans Defoe said “The highlight of my time has to be walking out with Bradley against Everton”.
And in his public goodbye to Bradley, Defoe said “Goodbye my friend, gonna miss you lots. I feel so blessed God brought you into my life and had some amazing moments with you and for that I’m so grateful. I’ll never forget the way you looked at me and when I met you for the first time, the genuine love in those cute eyes. Really finding it hard to find the words to express what you mean to me. The way you say your name, your little smiles when the camera comes out like a little superstar and the love I felt when I was with you. Your courage and bravery will continue to inspire me for the rest of my life. You will never know what a difference you made to me as a person. God has you in his arms and I’ll always carry you in my heart. Sleep tight little one. My best friend”.
There is often a misconception that footballers are greedy prima donna’s who only care for themselves, often not helped by the tabloids and social media, who love to hate and hate to praise. Defoe has proven how false this view can be. He has shown to be a caring and lovely human being and he deserves all the praise he receives. What he did was far from normal, it was exceptional and that’s why he deserves to be The BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
To make a contribution in tribute to Bradley, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bradleylowerysfight