Bradley Lowery has sadly had to cancel a visit from best friend Jermain Defoe because he was too ill to see the Sunderland striker and didn't want his hero to "see him poorly".

The 5-year-old has captured the hearts of the football world during his brave battle against a rare form of cancer, neuroblastoma. Defoe played a particularly prominent role in helping Bradley and his family in their time of need, according to the Daily Mail.

The youngster joined his favourite player and "best mate" to lead out the England team in their victory over Lithuania on Sunday, but three days later was too ill to take a visit from his friend.

A message written on the Bradley's Fight Twitter page said: "Brad is poorly he even cancelled a visit from his best friend as he didn't want him to see him poorly... (heartbreaking) to hear him say that."


Bradley has previously fallen asleep in the arms of the Sunderland forward in his hospital bed and expressed his joy when he found out Defoe would be leading the line for the Three Lions.

As the players took to the Wembley turf, Defoe carried the youngster in his arms before Bradley could be seen covering his ears, such was the thunderous cheer he and the England players received.

Defoe then managed to make Lowery's day even more special by opening the scoring in the 21st minute as England secured a 2-0 victory.

His family were told in December that Bradley's illness is terminal, but the youngster has still continued to cherish life and has touched many lives throughout the game.

An appeal for his treatment has remarkably raised more than $1 million as his story continues to capture the hearts of the football community.

Bradley is terminally ill with Neuroblastoma after relapsing last year. For more information visit Bradley Lowery's Fight website.