Sunderland star Jermain Defoe has told of his admiration for Bradley Lowery, describing him as an "unbelievable young boy".
The five-year-old from Blackhall and three of his fundraisers received a special recognition award at the recent Best of Wearside awards.
Bradley has won the hearts of thousands for his bravery in fighting neuroblastoma, a rare cancer.
He was given the special award with fundraisers Lynn Murphy, Michael Eggleston and fellow youngster Charlie Creaser.
The presentation featured a personal video message from Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe.
He said: "I'd just like to congratulate little Bradley for this amazing award.
Describing him as "an unbelievable young boy", he said the moment he first met him was "way beyond football".
"He's a special young boy, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart."