Touching tributes have been paid to inspirational youngster Bradley Lowery ahead of Sunderland AFC’s friendly tonight.
The Black Cats were are currently in action against Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park.
The Lincolnshire-based club organised for a minute’s applause to be held ahead of the game to celebrate the life of Bradley, who died after a long battle with neuroblastoma earlier this month.
During the applause, 250 blue balloons were released in memory of the six-year-old, who touched the hearts of so many people around the world.
Tributes have been paid to Bradley at all of Sunderland’s friendlies so far this summer.
The Blackhall Colliery lad was a huge Black Cats supporter, and was the club’s mascot on a number of occasions last season.
Bradley’s bravery inspired football fans and clubs across the country, and Scunthorpe took their opportunity to make their own tribute last night.
Ahead of the game, a statement from the club said: “Bradley was a huge fan of Sunderland, and often featured as a mascot at the team’s matches.
“His courage and positive attitude throughout his debilitating illness inspired millions across the country.”
Bradley’s family spent much of recent years raising funds in a bid to take the youngster to America for pioneering treatment.
His legacy will now be in helping other children in desperate need of medical treatment, with his family having submitted an application to set up The Bradley Lowery Foundation.
They want to help families who need to raise funds for medical treatment or equipment, and are looking to provide a memory-making holiday home.
A bucket collection for the foundation was held at Glanford Park before the night’s game. Some of Scunthorpe’s staff and bucket collectors wore T-shirts in memory of Bradley.
The cousin of Bradley’s mum Gemma was in attendance as a special guest and as a representative for the family and the foundation, as members of the football community again showed just how big an impact the youngster had in the game.
As well as being mascot for his beloved Sunderland, Bradley was also Everton’s mascot for their game against Manchester City in January after striking up a bond with the club.
He got the chance to lead out England, too, for their World Cup qualifier with Lithuania in March.