Bookmaker's donation to Bradley Lowery Foundation after Jermain Defoe left out of Sports Personality shortlist

A bookmaker is donate £1,000 to the Bradley Lowery Foundation after former Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe failed to make it onto the Sports Personality of the Year shortlist.
Bradley Lowery and Jermain Defoe.Bradley Lowery and Jermain Defoe.
Bradley Lowery and Jermain Defoe.

It was widely expected that Defoe, now playing at Bournemouth, would be one of those in the running for the honour after he struck up a heartwarming friendship with the six-year-old.

Brave Bradley, who passed away in July after battling childhood cancer neuroblastoma, became firm pals with his hero Defoe, accompanying him onto the pitch as mascot a number of times.

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Defoe was part of the Sunderland team which was relegated from the Premier League last season, but made his way back into the England team.

Bookmaker Betway, which had taken over £600 on staked on Defoe winning the prize, says it will now round the cash up to £1,000 and pass it on to Bradley's charitable foundation.

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Betway tweeted: "Following the announcement of the BBC #SPOTY shortlist, we'll be rounding up the £628 staked on Jermain Defoe to £1,000 and donating it to @Bradleysfight."

Betway’s Alan Alger said: “Jermain Defoe’s support for Bradley Lowery and his family is one of the greatest shows of compassion we’ve seen this year.

“Still a high class footballer in his own right, Defoe attracted a number of bets in the SPOTY market for his efforts off the pitch and many thought he should have at least made the shortlist.

“Bradley Lowery’s Fight continues to raise awareness and offer support to others and I’m sure our donation will be greatly received.”

The @bradleysfight account has since tweeted: "Thank you."

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Several people spoke on Twitter of their shock that Defoe had not been included on the shortlist.

Gary Miller wrote: "How is Jermaine Defoe not a #SPOTY nominee? Making Bradley Lowery’s final few weeks/months a dream come true far outweighs any sporting achievement."

Carl Edwards added: "Defoe not on SPOTY shortlist.... shows it's not about personality at all."

And Ellie Stevens wrote: "Livid Jermain isn't nominated for #SPOTY mind, should've won it by a mile.

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"Hope he is going to get some sort of award/acknowledgment on the night."

The 12 athletes nominated for the award are boxer Anthony Joshua, F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, cyclist Chris Froome, runner Mo Farah, swimmer Adam Peaty, motorcyclist Jonathan Rea, cricketer Anya Shrubsole, Paralympian Jonnie Peacock, speed-skater Elise Christie, tennis player Johanna Konta and Taekwondo star Bianca Walkden.