Defoe in special Instagram tribute to terminally ill Bradley Lowery after making England return

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The Sunderland striker has developed a special bond with the young supporter, saluting his bravery after the duo walked out together at Wembley

Jermain Defoe has posted a touching tribute to "brave" Bradley Lowery after the terminally-ill Sunderland fan led England onto the pitch for their World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.

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Bradley suffers from neuroblastoma, a form of cancer that affects children, and was originally diagnosed with the illness in 2013.

Bardley Lowery England 2017

Sunderland striker Defoe has built up a special bond with young Bradley, with the former Tottenham forward having spent time with the five-year-old and visited him in hospital.

Bradley has also been a mascot with the Black Cats, and, after stepping out at Wembley for Sunday's clash with Lithuania, he revealed on his Facebook page how special a moment it was.

The update read on Bradley's page read: "I have had an amazing day and I will never forget Jermain because I love him so much."

And Defoe has paid tribute to Bradley as he acknowledged his return to international football that saw him score for the Three Lions, with his previous cap having come in 2013.

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Accompanied by a picture collage of the five-year-old prior to kick-off of the game that England would go on to win 2-0, Defoe wrote on Instagram: "This moment will never leave me, back in the England squad, walking out with brave Bradley.

"The most beautiful moments in life are those, you can't find words to describe for. #england #win #goals #jd18."

For more information on Bradley's condition and to donate, visit the 'Bradley Lowery's Fight' page by clicking this link

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