The parents of Bradley Lowery – the six-year-old Sunderland fan who lost his battle with neuroblastoma cancer earlier this year – will collect an award in his honour at the 2017 Sports Personality of the Year ceremony.
Gemma and Carl Lowery will attend the awards at the Echo Arena Liverpool to pick up the Hellen Rollason Award in recognition of their son’s battle with a rare childhood cancer – a fight he sadly lost in July 2017.
Bradley was born in 2011 and diagnosed with the illness aged just 18 months. But he became a popular figure, bringing joy to those around him in the face of adversity and striking up a close friendship with Jermain Defoe – the star striker at his favourite football club, Sunderland.
“Every time I saw him was a special feeling. He was my best friend,” said Defoe after Bradley passed away.
The youngster was a guest at the 2016 SPOTY ceremony, meeting England manager Gareth Southgate and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker at the event in Birmingham.
He was also a mascot for the England football team at Wembley Stadium back in March in a World Cup qualifier which saw Defoe score to help secure a 2-0 win over Lithuania.
Hundreds of thousands of pounds were raised in support of Bradley’s fight and a foundation now exists in his name, helping to treat children with similar conditions.
The Helen Rollason Award was first introduced in 1999 and exists in memory of the BBC Sport journalist and presenter who lost her battle with cancer that year, aged 43.