London (AFP) – Everton and Sunderland, the two football clubs most associated with the late Bradley Lowery who became one of the iconic faces of last season’s Premier League campaign, are to raise money for the foundation named after him on Wednesday.
The two clubs meet in the League Cup and will sport shirts with the logo of the Lowery Foundation — set up by Bradley’s parents to advise and help other parents who have young children with serious illnesses — before the players sign them after the match and they are auctioned.
Bradley was a devout Sunderland fan, forming an especially close relationship with their then star striker Jermain Defoe, but it was at their Premier League clash at Goodison Park early last season where he began to capture the imagination of a much wider audience.
Not only was his name chanted live on television in the fifth minute that evening — he was five at the time — but Everton said they would make a generous contribution for proposed treatment for Bradley, who suffered from a rare form of cancer neuroblastoma, in the United States.
Sunderland also contributed towards the treatment but ultimately Bradley’s condition worsened and he was unable to go.
“The players of Everton and Sunderland will be wearing the logo of the Bradley Lowery Foundation on their shirts for Wednesday night’s League Cup tie at Goodison Park,” read a statement on the Everton website.
“Everton’s official shirt sponsors and the shirt sponsors of the Black Cats (Sunderland) have both kindly donated their shirt space for Wednesday’s third round tie as a tribute to the young Sunderland fan who captured the hearts of the footballing world during his brave battle with neuroblastoma.
“Bradley’s family has established a charity in memory of the six-year-old, who sadly passed away on July 7, in order to raise funds to support other children facing battles against cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
“Bradley forged a special relationship with Evertonians during his battle against cancer and members of his family will be special guests of the shirt sponsor for Wednesday night’s match.”
The news that the two teams would wear the foundation logo was greeted warmly by the parents.
“We are absolutely thrilled to see the Foundation logo on the front of the shirts,” said Gemma Lowery on the Everton website.
“The game has a very special meaning to myself and Carl (Bradley’s father) and we are overwhelmed by the support we have received from Sunderland and Everton.
“Bradley will be watching over everyone and I’m sure he would be very proud that his legacy can now help others.”
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