Tomorrow’s funeral for little Bradley Lowery is sure to be a highly emotional affair, as thousands gather to remember the tragic Sunderland fan who recently lost his battle with neuroblastoma.
It is not yet clear who will be attending the service at St Joseph’s RC Church in Blackhall Colliery, County Durham.
Former Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe, who struck up a close friendship with the tragic lad before his death, is sure to be there. And such was Bradley’s charm, there’s a good chance that other celebrities will go along to pay their respects.
With this in mind, Bradley’s parents are protecting their son’s dignity by requesting that nobody asks for autographs.
Posting on the boy’s Facebook page, his mum Gemma wrote: “Can I ask people not to approach anyone tomorrow for autographs or photos. Everyone is at the funeral to pay their respects and say goodbye.
“Thank you for your cooperation, and I’ll try to speak to as many as I can at the wake.”
Bradley died in his parents’ arms on Friday after a long battle with the illness.
He had first been diagnosed with neuroblastoma at the age of 18 months but, after initially defeating the cancer, the poor lad relapsed last year.
His story touched the hearts of millions, and Defoe, who now plays for Bournemouth, dedicated a lot of his time to supporting Bradley.
Upon hearing of Bradley’s tragic death, Defoe tweeted: “Goodbye my friend gonna miss you lots. I feel so blessed God brought u into my life.
“Had some amazing moments with u and for that I’m so grateful.”
Bradley appeared by Defoe’s side as a mascot for England’s game against Lithuania last year. The striker scored in a 2-0 win.
Yesterday, it emerged that Bradley’s classmates at Blackhall Colliery Primary had performed his charity song at their school assembly.
Their rendition of ‘Smile For Bradley’ hit number three in the iTunes chart last month.