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The parents of Bradley Lowery collected the Helen Rollason Award in an emotional presentation at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2017 show.Football-loving Bradley, the boy whose bravery touched the hearts of many people, was honoured with the award for his achievements in the face of adversity.Bradley died aged six from a rare form of cancer in July.
His parents, Gemma and Carl, were given a standing ovation by Liverpool’s Echo Arena crowd as they were presented with the prize by England manager Gareth Southgate and striker Harry Kane.”Wow,” mum Gemma said. “I am slightly overwhelmed, but absolutely honoured to receive this on behalf of Bradley.”Bradley’s story, his positive attitude and his cheery smile captured the nation’s hearts as he battled neuroblastoma.The Sunderland fan and club mascot was “best mates” with the side’s former striker Jermain Defoe, who sent his love despite not being able to attend the ceremony.”The nation took him into their hearts and he raised so much awareness for childhood cancer,” Gemma added. “I am so proud of him. We want to continue the good work he has done. We treasure those special memories every single day.”A dream came true for Bradley in March when he was mascot for the England team at Wembley Stadium before a World Cup qualifier where Defoe scored in a 2-0 win over Lithuania.He was then given honorary 41st place in the racecard for the Grand National at Aintree in April.Bradley became known worldwide following an appeal that led to him receiving 250,000 Christmas cards from countries as far away as Australia and New Zealand.Well-wishers raised more than £700,000 last year to pay for him to be given antibody treatment in New York, but medics then found his cancer had grown and his family was informed his illness was terminal.
In December 2016, he met England manager Southgate and Match of the Day pundit Gary Lineker at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year event in Birmingham.Bradley then won the programme’s December goal of the month award after he took a penalty before Sunderland’s game against Chelsea.He also appeared as a mascot for Everton, with the club donating £200,000 to the Bradley Lowery Foundation set up in his honour, and was visited in hospital by a number of Sunderland players.
Source: BBC Tyne and Wear