BERNAT LÓPEZ / ©XTREM FOOTBALL
Jermain Defoe has got a tattoo in memory of his “best friend” Bradley Lowery. The Bournemouth forward struck up a special relationship with young Bradley during his time at Sunderland. Defoe was Bradley’s hero and the striker walked out on to the pitch for club and country with his pal as he battled a rare form of cancer.
Bradley heartbreakingly passed away in July 2017, aged just six, and the duo were virtually inseparable before his passing. The duo’s special bond began in September 2016 when Sunderland hosted Everton in the Premier League.
Sunderland-mad Bradley led his beloved Black Cats out onto the pitch as a mascot before receiving a round of applause during the fifth minute at the Stadium of Light. Supporters of both clubs sang ‘there’s only one Bradley Lowery’, before a banner carrying the message ‘we’re with you, Bradley’ was unfurled at the stadium.
A huge relationship
Their relationship was encapsulated in one photo Defoe shared on Twitter. As Defoe and his Sunderland team-mates visited him in hospital, young Bradley fell asleep on his bed in the arms of the forward. Speaking after the visit, Defoe said: “As soon as I walked into the room, he jumped up and grabbed me and said: get in the bed! He got the covers on me, he said to his mum: could you turn the lights off? He just wanted a cuddle and to go to sleep.”.
The 36-year old has many tattoos that mean a lot to him, such as a picture of his Nan, but now has ‘Brad’ engraved in his skin to further underline what a wonderful friendship they had. “This is an important piece that I’ve been thinking of getting for a while”, Defoe says in the video of him in the tattoo studio.
“It just means a lot to me. No matter what happens, I can look at this and it can pick me up a little bit”, he added. Defoe revealed he will also will be adding some stars and clouds around the tattoo to complete the piece of art.