Jermain Defoe's tribute to Bradley Lowery is one of most retweeted posts of year

Bradley Lowery with Jermain Defoe.
Bradley Lowery with Jermain Defoe.

Footballer Jermain Defoe's tribute to Bradley Lowery is one of the most retweeted posts of the year, the social site has revealed.

The former Sunderland striker 's Tweet "sleep tight little one" tribute to the six-year-old from Blackhall when he died of cancer was the third most retweeted post of the year in the UK.

The young Sunderland fan formed a touching bond with the player, who he called his "best friend", during an awareness campaign for cancer in young children.

The most retweeted post of the year was a man's quest for free chicken nuggets.

In April, Carter Wilkerson asked US fast food chain Wendy's how many retweets he would need in order to receive free nuggets for a year.

His post of their reply - asking for 18 million - has been retweeted more than 3.6 million times since.

The post is now the most retweeted in the social media site's history, and the food chain has agreed to award Wilkerson his nuggets.

Wilkerson's post topped the list ahead of singer Ariana Grande's response to the terror attack following her concert at the MEN Arena in Manchester in May, in which the US star said she was "broken".

Former US president Barack Obama was fourth among UK users with his message of equality that "no one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion", which has in total been retweeted more than 1.7 million times globally.

Former footballer Andy Johnson completed the top five with a message to #EndTheStigma surrounding mental health and to support Everton star Aaron Lennon after he was detained under the mental health act.

Jeremy Clarkson's attempt to dab and 6ft 7in Stoke striker Peter Crouch appearing alongside two giraffes and joking of spending "time with family" also appeared in the top 10.

Twitter UK managing director Dara Nasr said: "The UK's biggest retweets of the year are a great way to look back on some of our more notable tweets, and what a collection we have from poignant moments, acts of amazing charity and the usual dose of comedy.

"In what's been a tough 12 months for many, this year's Top 10 UK retweets really show the difference people can make on Twitter, no matter whether you have just a handful of followers or many millions."

The Top 10 retweets are:

1. Carter Wilkerson asks for free chicken nuggets.

2. Ariana Grande responds to the terror attack at her concert in Manchester.

3. Jermain Defoe pays tribute to "best friend" Bradley Lowery.

4. Barack Obama's message of equality.

5. Former footballer Andy Johnson tweets his support for Aaron Lennon.

6. Jeremy Clarkson dabs.

7. PC Dave Wise raises awareness for suicide prevention.

8. Peter Crouch spends time with "family".

9. @LucidWhim raises awareness for breast cancer.

10. @Officialwinemom captions Jeremy Corbyn video.