Bradley Lowery who became one of the iconic images of last season's Premier League through his friendship with then Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe has died aged six his family revealed on his Facebook page.
Lowery suffered from neuroblastoma
The devoted Sunderland supporter suffered from a rare form of cancer neuroblastoma and had of late been receiving palliative care at his home.
Defoe, who had touchingly been accompanied by Lowery onto the Wembley pitch when the striker made his England return after a four year hiatus against Lithuania in March, broke down in tears on Thursday when asked about him declaring his 'best mate' only had days to live.
Family confirm news on social media
Confirmation of the 34-year-old's fears arrived on Friday.
"My brave boy has went with the angels today 07/07/17 at 13:35, in mammy and daddies arms surrounded by his family. ??????," read a message from the family on Bradley's Facebook page.
"He was our little superhero and put the biggest fight up but he was needed else where.
"There are no words to describe how heart broken we are.
"Thank you everyone for all your support and kind words.
"Sleep tight baby boy and fly high with them angels."