Brave Bradley Lowery was joined by ‘best friend’ Jermain Defoe as he celebrated his sixth birthday in style.
Bradley, who is battling childhood cancer neuroblastoma, turned six in hospital on Wednesday, but was back home in Blackhall for a massive celebration with family and friends.
Sunderland AFC goalkeeper Vito Mannone and club mascots Samson and Delilah were also on hand for a party which was decorated with Bradley’s favourite Marvel and DC superheroes - complete with a massive superhero cake.
Guests were welcomed by stiltwalkers dressed as Wonder Woman and Batgirl and entertained by a fire-eater, while youngsters had trampolines, facepainting and a juggler to help the party go with a swing.
Mum Gemma said Bradley had been excited about his special day.
“He could not wait to come out and see his family and all his friends,” she said.
We wanted to celebrate with all our family and friends because we could not think of any better way to do it.Gemma Lowery
“He just wanted to get to the party.
“There are about 250 people coming down, maybe more.”
Bradley’s sixth birthday is a day Gemma and husband Carl had feared they would not see, and his mum admitted it had been an emotional experience for the family.
“It is a massive milestone,” she said.
“It is something we have always wanted to reach and now we have.
“We are very grateful to get here, to the age of six.
“I am always hopeful, I am always positive.
“I am a ‘glass-half-full’ girl, but obviously there was a chance that he was not going to make it - we are over the moon that he has.
“We wanted to celebrate with all our family and friends because we could not think of any better way to do it.”