Jermain Defoe and Bradley Lowery light up Sunderland’s season of gloom

Bradley Lowery clings on tight to 'best friend' Jermain Defoe
Bradley Lowery clings on tight to 'best friend' Jermain Defoe
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How typical of football that Sunderland’s season to forget should be so memorable.

Thanks to Jermain Defoe and his heartwarming friendship with Bradley Lowery, Sunderland fans can perhaps salvage some pride and fond thoughts from a truly woeful season.

Saturday’s last home game of the season summed up the whole campaign.

An emotional farewell to Defoe was given extra poignancy when the striker carried cancer battler Bradley onto the Stadium of Light pitch.

There were tears and cheers for the pair, whose bond has been a heartwarming story throughout the season.

What a pity the players could muster little passion on the pitch.

An emotionless display after such an emotional gesture is hard to fathom.

On the evidence of Saturday, Sunderland’s rebuilding job on the field of play is likely to be a mammoth one.

Thank goodness though for the goodness of Defoe.

With so few highlights to cling to, it’s the unlikely bond formed between the England star and a five-year-old child that has lit up a season of gloom.

Their friendship has helped unite rival fans in raising money for Bradley and other sick children’s causes.

The banner that flew across the ground is evidence of that, generating funds for North East youngsters fighting cancer.

That fans are now campaigning for Defoe to be given an OBE is not surprising.

This really is a story that has captured the imagination of the public, and an OBE for Defoe would be the icing on the cake.

It would be a memorable end to the season to forget.