Bradley Lowery funeral: Mourners line streets with tributes

Bradley Lowery funeral

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Mourners began gathering shortly after 09:00 BST for Bradley’s funeral

Crowds of mourners are gathering for the funeral of Bradley Lowery.

The six-year-old Sunderland fan, from Blackhall Colliery, County Durham, died on Friday following a cancer fight.

Former Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe, who forged a strong bond with Bradley, left a training camp in Spain in order to attend the funeral.

Roads leading to St Joseph’s Church, are decked with balloons and tributes. The service, at 11:15 BST, is “open to everyone”, his family said.

See more on this and other stories on our Local Live page.

Hundreds of tributes were also on view outside Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.

The funeral service will be followed by a private crematorium ceremony.

Speakers will broadcast the funeral service to people unable to be accommodated within the church.

Bradley’s family will wear football shirts in honour of his love of the sport.

A vigil and minute’s applause are planned at Grey’s Monument in Newcastle city centre at the same time as the funeral, while balloons will be released at noon at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.

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PA

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Tributes to the youngster lined the route of the cortege

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PA

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Almost every inch of the cortege route was lined with balloons

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PA

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Mourners wearing football tops decorated the route of the funeral cortege with balloons

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PA

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Shops along the cortege route were decked with balloons and tribute posters

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Reuters

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Hundreds of tributes were left outside Sunderland’s Stadium of Light where Bradley was a mascot

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PA

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Almost all the mourners wore football shirts at the request of Bradley’s family

Danny Savage, North of England correspondent

There are many hundreds of people here. A lot of them are wearing football shirts – Bradley was a Sunderland fan – and there are bright colours.

People say they were inspired by the fight he put up against cancer.

And it was his smile, that’s what many people have said – it was his smile and his spirit.

Bradley was diagnosed with neuroblastoma aged 18 months.

Having been in remission following treatment, he relapsed last year and his parents were told in December his illness was terminal.

In the months before his death he struck up a friendship with Jermain Defoe, who called him a “little superstar”.

Defoe is now with Bournemouth and the club announced on Thursday the 34-year-old had left their pre-season training camp in Marbella to travel back for the funeral.

Bradley also led out the England team at Wembley, attended the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards and was a special guest at the Grand National.

Tributes poured in from around the world when his parents announced his death on Facebook.

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PA

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Bradley was invited to the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year event

Bradley Lowery funeral: Mourners line streets with tributes

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