Sunderland AFC honours 'inspirational' Bradley Lowery

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Sunderland AFC honoured the life of little fighter Bradley Lowery at his funeral - saying he united the world of football.

Sunderland players past and present came together to pay tribute to the six-year-old who had been a mascot for the club on numerous occasions over the last year.

Jermain Defoe at Bradley Lowery's funeral.

Jermain Defoe at Bradley Lowery's funeral.

Addressing mourners at the service, Marc Lyden-Smith, Chaplin of Sunderland AFC, said Bradley had united the football community regardless of his colours with his story.

He said: "Football can sometimes get a bad press, but not today.

"Today we see what football can offer the world and to us in the North East as a community.

"Today the football world stands united, whatever our colours, to pay their respects to this incredible little boy with his huge personality.

Bradley Lowery was hailed as an inspiration by Sunderland AFC.

Bradley Lowery was hailed as an inspiration by Sunderland AFC.

"As a big football fan, Bradley saw that sport teaches us the basic life lesson that one must get up when getting knocked down -you must never, ever, quit.

"Bradley Lowery has done much more than just touch the hearts of so many football fans.

"His lasting legacy is that he had, with a pure and innocent love for the beautiful game, brought people together.

"He has brought out the best in people.

David Moyes (centre) outside St Joseph's Church in Blackhall, County Durham.

David Moyes (centre) outside St Joseph's Church in Blackhall, County Durham.

"He has been an inspiration and friend to sports stars.

"He has been a light to many people in the darkness of suffering.

"He has been much more than a mascot to Sunderland football club.

"Above all he has been a beloved baby and a bundle of joy and pride to parents Gemma and Carl, whose dignity and love has shone for us all to see.

David Moyes (second left) and Ellis Short (right) outside St Joseph's Church in Blackhall, County Durham.

David Moyes (second left) and Ellis Short (right) outside St Joseph's Church in Blackhall, County Durham.

"Not bad going for such a short life."

Former Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe, known as Bradley's best friend, turned out to pay his respects.

He was joined by club legends Kevin Ball and Jimmy Montgomery along with David Moyes, Ellis Short, Simon Grayson and John O'Shea.

He continued: "We will always remember the lessons that we have learnt from this incredible little boy.

"Lessons about unity, about inner strength, about loving relationships.

"But whatever our colours, we have learned that we have more in common than what separates us."