Thousands have descended on Goodison Park this afternoon for a star-studded football match in tribute to Bradley Lowery.
The six-year-old captured the hearts of the country as he bravely battled a rare form of cancer with a smile on his face but tragically, he passed away in July.
He won over footballer Jermain Defoe who described Bradley as his ‘best mate’ who said he would be watching from abroad while on international duty.
Everton’s home ground Goodison Park was filled with emotional supporters who gathered to watch Bradley’s Blues and Bradley’s Legends battle it out on the pitch.
The Legends – managed by Katie Price – beat the Blues – led by former WBC cruiserweight champion and Everton fan Tony Bellew – 7-3 in front of a 12,727-strong crowd.
Pictured: The stars line up and pay tribute to Bradley Lowery with a silence before the start of the game
The ‘Bradley’s Blues’ managed by former WBC cruiserweight champion and Everton fan Tony Bellew, will take on ‘The Lowery Legends’ managed by TV personality Katie Price and assisted by former Liverpool manager Roy Evans
Pictured: Young Bradley was a huge football fan and struck up a close friendship with England striker Jermain Defoe
Thousands have descended on Goodison Park this afternoon for a star-studded football match in tribute to Bradley Lowery
The first half saw goals aplenty, with Jamie O’Hara putting away 2 goals early on in the first half for Katie Price’s Lowery Legends. 911’s Jimmy Constable put the Legends 3-0 ahead, before Olly Murs scored a cracking penalty for The Bradley Blues.
And, touchingly, there was rapturous applause for Bradley Lowery’s uncle Andy Summerbell, who scored just before the whistle to put the Legends 4-1 ahead.
Bradley’s charisma saw him win fans all over the country, with him regularly appearing at Premier League football matches alongside his best friend, Jermain Defoe.
Bradley’s mother Gemma selected the team names for the day, with Everton legend Peter Reid at the helm for ‘Bradley’s Blues’, and TV personality Katie Price – assisted by former Liverpool boss Roy Evans – managing ‘The Lowery Legends’.
Members of the footballing world, including former Everton players Peter Beardsley, Alan Stubbs, Graham Stuart and Tony Hibbert donned their boots for the event.
Stars such as Olly Murs, Corrie’s Shayne Ward, Steps singer Lee Latchford-Evans, Eastenders actor Adam Woodyatt and Simon Webbe from boyband Blue also helped form the line-up.
The second 45 minutes saw the Blues pull back with another storming penalty scored by Shayne Ward and a cheeky goal from Tubes.
But the Legends went on to swiftly clinch an ultimately comfortable win, with three more from Jamie O’Hara, making his hat trick, and Jez Lynch and Chris Hughes.
Speaking after the match, ex-Everton player Alan Stubbs, who played for The Bradley Blues, said: ‘It was fantastic. A big turnout for such an inspirational boy. It doesn’t surprise me, the people in the North West.’
Players warm up during the Bradley Lowery Charity Game at Goodison Park
Emotional: Thousands applauded for one minute in tribute of the six-year-old who captured the nation with his bravery
And stars such as Olly Murs, Corrie’s Shayne Ward, Steps singer Lee Latchford-Evans, Eastenders actor Adam Woodyatt and Simon Webbe from boyband Blue also helped form the line-up
Left: Katie Price looks on during the Bradley Lowery Charity Game at Goodison Park. Right: Olivia Attwood with a glass of white wine
Gemma Lowery is determined to help and support the families of other sick children, in the hope they can avoid the heartache her family has been through.
She has set up a charity in his Bradley’s honour as she hopes to help other children fighting neuroblastoma.
Speaking for the first time since his death last month, she said: ‘I tried my best with Bradley, I did everything I possibly could. Unfortunately it didn’t work out but now I want to help other parents get to where we never got to.’
Today she hopes the football match will help continue with the already-outstanding fundraising efforts in her son’s honour.
Olly Murs, playing for Bradley’s Blues said: ‘It’s really amazing to be here today for Bradley and his family. As a football fan it’s great to get the email to ask to come and play, and there’s sure to be a lot of money raised.
‘I think for me it’s the fact he was only six when he passed away. My nephew is only six now and he’s an amazing kid. I think at that age it doesn’t really hit you. For Bradley he was having fun and playing football. That’s really touching.
‘I was straight up again this morning after the Grenfell Tower match yesterday. I feel good, I’m fit. There was no question of not being here today for his family.’
Members of the footballing world, including former Everton players Peter Beardsley, Alan Stubbs, Graham Stuart and Tony Hibbert donned their boots for the event
The Legends – in Sunderland colours – line up with the Blues, wearing Everton strips
Goal! Jamie O’Hara celebrates scoring with a handshake with his fellow Celebrity Big Brother colleague Calum Best
Paying tribute: X Factor winner Sam Bailey and TV presenter Jeff Brazier were just some of the famous faces spotted at today’s event
While Calum Best, representing Lowery Legends said: ‘It’s an honour and a privilege to be here today. Bradley was an inspiration and it’s an amazing charity, so it’s super important. He didn’t just affect fans, he affected people outside of football too.
Shane Ward added: ‘I’m a football fan, and you would see he story pop up. ‘In a selfish way I get to play at a premiership football ground with my mates. ‘It’s just a privilege and an honour.’-
His mother, Gemma Lowery, from Blackhall Colliery, Co Durham, announced in August that the Bradley Lowery Foundation is now a registered charity.
She said at the time: ‘We are mega excited to announce that after a lot of behind the scenes work, we’ve got a registered charity number for the Bradley Lowery Foundation.
‘We’re hoping to support, advise and encourage families on their fundraising campaigns to reach their target and get their child medical treatment and equipment.
‘We’ll give out some grants, but we’ll also spend time building rapport with families to support them in all kinds of different ways.
‘We’re also hoping to get a holiday home for families to use for short breaks, to give them some normality in their lives.’
One face who was missing this afternoon was Jermain Defoe, who said he would be watching the charity match while away on international duty.
The Bournemouth striker is currently training with England ahead of The Three Lions’ 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
England face Malta away on Friday before taking on Slovakia at Wembley on Monday.
Defoe became close friends with Lowery over the past year, and spent a lot of time with the Sunderland fan during his latter stages. The 34-year-old also attended Lowery’s funeral last month.