Blackhall Colliery youngster Bradley touched the hearts of the nation with his battle against neuroblastoma, which claimed his life in July 2017. But the six-year-old’s legacy lives on in the countless fundraising he’s inspired.
One of those to be inspired by his fight for survival was Black Cat fans Jack Murray and Andy McCracken who started the One Bradley Lowery chant in summer 2016 during an SAFC match against Everton. After seeking the blessing of Bradley’s mum Gemma, they also set up the annual Bradley Lowery Cup.
Jack explains: “We first decided to raise money for Bradley when we heard he had relapsed in the summer of 2016. We set a target of £500, but ended up raising £4,461.
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“This was followed by two members of the squad, Andy and myself, orchestrating the One Bradley Lowery chant.”
After hearing the news that Bradley’s cancer was terminal, the squad decided to host at least one game a year to raise money in his name.
As Lowery’s Lads, they went on to raise £1,677 in 2017 for Bradley, as well as to help sick children Hope Feeney and Frankie Sherwood. Last year they raised £1,600 for the Bradley Lowery Foundation, as well as for Naomi House and Jacksplace hospice.
This year’s tournament, Lowery’s Lads vs Josie’s Giants, is aiming to raise £2,000 for Bradley Lowery Foundation, which helps children in need of treatment or equipment.
As well as Bradley, the event will remember Connor Brown, who died from knife wounds in Sunderland earlier this year and was a friend to many of the squad members, and Sandhill School pupil Josie King, 15, who died from cancer last summer, and was a loyal supporter of the Bradley Lowery Cup.
*Lowery’s Lads vs Josie’s Giants takes place at Silksworth 3G at 3pm on Saturday, July 6 and is free to attend. There will be an after party at 6pm at the Thorney Close Inn, £2 ticketed (via donation on just giving) or £3 on the door with karaoke DJ, raffle, buffet and football cards.