The term hero gets bashed about a bit these days. If you score a last minute goal, you’re a hero. If you get the drinks in on a night out, you’re a hero. If your mate finds your key or wallet, they’re a hero.
On the 7th of July 2017, the world realised what a hero actually was. A young boy of six years succumbing to neuroblastoma. Bradley Lowery is a kid that makes you proud to be British. Despite the terminal illness he fought so heroically, he always smiled. From his goal of the month against Chelsea to spearheading the Three Lions at Wembley, Bradley achieved his dreams. His attitude towards life, no matter how sick a card was dealt to him, was awe inspiring and will cement his status as an immortal hero. One who wore a red and white cape. One who captures all beauty about humanity. One who deserves to be posthumously recognised.
I also want to pay homage to his family and friends. As a Rochdale fan, I recall another young lad, Josh McCormack who had the same disease and tragically the same outcome. The club retired the 55 jersey in his honour. I remember a heartbreaking letter by his mum in the aftermath saying who devastating it was to see their beautiful baby boy die in so much pain, something the Lowery’s will have witnessed. Josh like Bradley symbolised all great about the sport and how it unites us all. As a community we should stand with the Lowery’s and all friends in these difficult times. It is an absolute injustice a child should face such agony. The world feels so much more hollow without them.
Can we also expect some sort of recognition for Jermain Defoe? What a man. He became Bradley’s best friend in his darkest days. Defoe’s reaction at his press conference in revealing Bradley’s near-ending plight resulted in tears, something the watching audience reciprocated. Bradley acknowledged Defoe as a hero, a player who prolonged the ‘Black Cats’ Premier League status, gaining legendary status for a certain goal against the Toon. In all fairness, we would all agree Lowery is equal in stature to Defoe on Wearside. The pair walking out at Wembley for England, and Bradley hugging Defoe during the national anthem will remain one of the beautiful game’s most beautiful moments.
Rest In Peace.
There’s only one Bradley Lowery.