Hibernian fans are planning a match day tribute to brave Bradley Lowery after his family confirmed on Friday that he had lost his battle with a rare cancer.
The young football fan, six, captured the hearts of the nation as a mascot for English side Sunderland.
Hibs fans last night took to social media to organise a minute’s applause in the sixth minute of the Lewis Stevenson testimonial match against Sunderland at Easter Road on Sunday to honour the youngster.
Graeme Cadger, chairman of the Lewis Stevenson Testimonial Committee, said: “I spoke to the Sunderland Club Secretary tonight and he is more than happy to respect a minute’s applause.”
He also confirmed that the Hibs and Sunderland teams had also agreed to wear black armbands during the game. In a statement on the family’s Facebook page, Bradley’s mother Gemma Lowery said: “My brave boy has went with the angels today 07/07/17 at 13.35, in mammy and daddies arms surrounded by his family.
“He was our little superhero and put the biggest fight up but he was needed elsewhere.
“There are no words to describe how heartbroken we are.
“Thank you everyone for all your support and kind words. Sleep tight baby boy and fly high with them angels.”
Bradley struck up a close friendship with then Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe after he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma.
He and Defoe were pictured snuggled up together at the young fan’s home in Blackhall, County Durham last week after the little boy had a party in bed to say goodbye. As Bradley continued to fight for life, Defoe broke down in tears on Thursday at a press conference with his new club, Bournemouth, when he was asked about their special bond.
He said: “There is not a day that goes past where I do not wake up in the morning and check my phone or think about little Bradley because his love is genuine and I can see it in his eyes.
“It is special.”
He was a mascot at Wembley when Defoe scored on his return to the England squad. Defoe was guest of honour at a huge party thrown for Bradley’s sixth birthday in May.
Supporters had hoped a massive fundraising effort last year could get him to the US for pioneering treatment, but his heartbroken family announced at Christmas that his cancer was terminal.
Paying tribute to the little boy on Twitter, Hibernian FC tweeted: “All our thoughts are with Bradley’s family and those his brave battle touched and inspired. His memory marches on... #OneBradleyLowrey.”