Sunderland at Wembley: Fan’s plea for 6th-minute applause in honour of Bradley Lowery
The lads will face Portsmouth in the Checkatrade Trophy final on March 31 - and Kevin Ball, 47, is appealing for a minute’s applause in honour of young fan Bradley Lowery.
The six-year-old died in July 2017 after battling neuroblastoma cancer.
A keen football fan, Bradley appeared as mascot on a number of occasions for SAFC, and also walked out with England at Wembley at their World Cup qualifier just months before he lost his life.
Related: What is the Bradley Lowery Foundation? Why the charity was set up and how you can support it
Now Kevin, who lives in South Shields, has said he thinks an applause in Bradley’s name is a fitting tribute to the little boy who meant so much to so many.
He said: “It would be nice for the family to know that Bradley is always in the thoughts of Sunderland fans.”
Kevin, who works as a carer, is going to the final with his son Khayl, 18, and his brother-in-law.
Bradley’s mum Gemma will also be attending the game - and said she knew her son would be there with them “watching Sunderland win and helping us celebrate”.
Kevin remembered watching Bradley act as mascot during the 2016/17 season and said it was an emotional moment to see the young fan carried out by “best friend” and former SAFC striker Jermain Defoe.
Speaking of his hope for an applause at Wembley, he added: “I just thought, if everyone breaks out in applause it will be a proud moment for [Gemma] to know her son is going to live on.
“He has a legacy, people aren’t going to forget him.”
Ahead of the match, Kevin has contacted the English Football League, Sunderland AFC and Portsmouth FC in a bid for their support.
The response on social media, he said, has been “overwhelming” so far.