During Defoe’s first spell at Sunderland, the striker forged an emotional bond with Bradley Lowery – the inspirational young football fan who sadly died in 2017 after a battle with terminal neuroblastoma cancer.
‘Best mates’, the duo walked out at the Stadium of Light together on numerous occasions and they captured hearts across the world in March 2017 when Bradley led out the Three Lions at Wembley Stadium.
Sunderland fans have rejoiced in Defoe returning to Wearside on January 31 and now the club have pledged to donate £1 from every ticket sold for the Doncaster Rovers match on Saturday to the Bradley Lowery Foundation.
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The charity was set up by Bradley’s family in his memory and continues to support other families who have sick children.
Speaking in a video posted on Sunderland AFC’s official Twitter account, Defoe commented on how much the charity means to him.
He said: “Hey guys, I’m back. Thank you for the amazing welcome – it has been great.
"There is a massive game at the weekend and we need your support, we need that stadium full and rocking.
"And even more special, for every ticket sold, a pound goes to the Bradley Lowery Foundation and you know what that means to me and my family.
“The guys at the Foundation do amazing work, Gemma is doing amazing work so everything helps.
"Make sure you get your tickets and we will see you on Saturday.”