Sunderland manager Simon Grayson has hailed Bradley Lowery as a “national hero” after it was announced that the Black Cats will wear shirts bearing the name of the cancer battler’s foundation for tomorrow’s cup clash at Everton.
SAFC announced earlier in the week that the team’s kits, as well as those of the Toffees, will feature the charity’s logo for Wednesday evening’s Carabao Cup fixture at Goodison Park.
The one-off shirts will then be signed by the players following the game and auctioned to raise money for the Bradley Lowery Foundation.
Bradley, of Blackhall Colliery, captured the hearts of the world during his fight against childhood cancer neuroblastoma, with hundreds of thousands of pounds donated with the aim of having life-saving treatment in America.
Sadly however, his illness progressed and the brave youngster lost his fight for life in July.
Speaking at a pre-match press conference ahead of the game, Grayson said: “It is a fantastic gesture from both clubs to have it on their shirts.
“Bradley has had a massive affiliation with this football club and Everton.
“It is a fine gesture that has been greeted positively by everybody.
“Bradley was such a fantastic little hero for everybody, not just locally but nationally.
It is a fantastic gesture by both clubs and there has been a lot of positivity about it.
“Everybody in football and wider will have heard of Bradley Lowery’s name and the difficult time him and his family went through and how hard he fought.
“He was a national hero to everybody.”
Bradley’s loving mum Gemma was the Stadium of Light earlier this week as Sunderland AFC officially launched the charity.
The foundation has recently been awarded registered charity status, allowing it to embark on a major fundraising programme to help support its aims and objectives.
Since Bradley’s sad passing in July, aged just six years old, his family have worked tirelessly to ensure a positive legacy will come from his personal fight and the Foundation has been set up with the aim of offering support, advice and encouragement to families undertaking their own fundraising campaigns to fund children’s medical treatment and equipment.
Gemma said: “The aims of the foundation are to support and help people to raise funds for medical treatment for anyone under the age of 18 which is not available on the NHS or equipment that they can’t get Government funding for.
“We’ve learnt a lot over the years of fund-raising that we’ve done and we want to share that information with parents who are just starting out.”