Former Sunderland footballer Jermain Defoe is to be honoured designed for his friendship with young Bradley Lowery.
The six-year-old avid Sunderland fan, from Blackhall Colliery in County Durham, passed away in July 2017 from a uncommon form of childhood cancer.
He was a mascot for the Dark Cats and struck up a detailed friendship with Defoe, who today plays for Bournemouth.
The player is to be named Personality from the Year at the North East Soccer Writers’ Association’s annual awards.
The award, which is provided in association with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation cancer charity, recognises people who use their position in soccer to benefit the wider community.
The youngster’s plight handled thousands of well-wishers and a charity in the name was launched by his mothers and fathers after hundreds of thousands associated with pounds was raised.
Bradley passed away on 7 July last year previously being diagnosed with neuroblastoma when he had been 18 months old.
Defoe said he had an “instant connection” with Bradley after visiting the particular ill youngster in hospital plus regularly travelled to the family home to find out him.
Sir Bobby’s widow, Lady Elsie, said: “The special connection between Bradley plus Jermain was apparent for everyone to find out. I’m very proud that Jermain is receiving our award because it acknowledges his wonderful compassion and his dedication to helping other children along with cancer in Bradley’s memory.
“The passion for soccer in this region means it has great capacity to do good. The friendship among Bradley and Jermain, and all good things that have happened because of this, is proof of that. ”
Colin Young, secretary from the North East Football Writers’ Organization, added: “The very special a friendly relationship between Bradley Lowery and Jermain Defoe touched the whole country.
“It started from the joint love of football plus Sunderland Football Club and blossomed right into a bond which was an inspiration in order to millions of fans across the world. ”
The awards ceremony is because of take place on 25 February.