Former Sunderland AFC striker Jermain Defoe said the memory ‘best friend’ Bradley Lowery inspires him every day.
The football star paid a moving tribute to the six-year-old from Blackhall as the the pair are in the running for Best Sporting Moment in the Laureus World Sports Awards.
The star striker, who now plays for Bournemouth, says the nomination for such a prestigiour international award shows how the little battler touched the hearts of millions of people around the globe.
The accolade celebrates emotional, heart-warming moments that look beyond the scoreboard and show true value of sport.
Jermain had developed a close bond with the brave boy before he sadly lost his fight with neuroblatoma in July last year.
Remembering his friend, the England forward said Bradley continues to inspire him every day.
He said: “The Best Sporting Moment nomination is testimony to the way Bradley’s courage and bravery inspired us all.
“Being nominated for such a prestigious and international award like the Laureus World Sports Awards shows how Brad touched the lives of millions of people all over the globe.
“He was my best friend and there’s not a day that goes by when I don’t think about him.
“Bradley’s memory inspires me every day, both on and off the pitch.”
The Laureus Best Sporting Moment Award demonstrates qualities such as fair play, sportsmanship, drama and dedication, and looks beyond the scoreboard or podium.
The moments symbolise the true values of sport and bring to life the message that sport has the power to change the world.
Bradley Lowery and Jermain Defoe have been nominated alongside inspirational 18-year-old motor racing driver Billy Monger, who came back from a horrific motorsports crash.
They have joined the overall shortlist made up of Kimi Räikkönen and his six-year-old fan Thomas Danel, the Iowa Hawkeyes for the ‘Kinnick Wave’ and the Chapecoense football team for the Best Sporting Moment nominees.
Each month, from August to December, sports fans selected their favourite Moment from a shortlist of six videos, chosen by the sporting legends of the Laureus World Sports Academy.
Bradley and Jermain advanced from the vote in October.
The five monthly winners will go head-to-head in a final public vote, with the winner being announced on stage at the 2018 Laureus Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, February 27, in Monaco.
To watch the Best Sporting Moment Nominee videos and vote visit: mylaureus.com