AFC Bournemouth striker Jermain Defoe has today received an OBE at Buckingham Palace for his services to charity.
As reported by Sky Sports, Defoe dedicated the honour to Sunderland fan Bradley Lowery, who sadly lost his battle with neuroblastoma last year.
Defoe developed a close relationship with the youngster whilst playing for his favourite club Sunderland, and was often pictured visiting him in the hospital as well as having Lowery be a mascot at the Stadium of Light.
The 36-year-old was honoured for his work in creating the Jermain Defoe foundation following the St Lucia hurricane of 2010.
Since then, the foundation has worked to support children with a range of issues in the Carribean as well as in the UK.
On the award, Defoe said:
There are so many people I can thank, like my mum, my sister, people involved in the foundation. The volunteers, people involved in the shoebox appeal. All those that worked for the foundation over the years.
I would love to dedicate this amazing day, this OBE to my little friend Bradley, everyone knows the relationship I had with Bradley. I’ve got this for the Jermain Defoe Foundation but above all of that, I think it’s the relationship I had with him that was special.
You never expect to receive an award, so to receive something like this, of course, it still hurts. I’ve got some great memories of Bradley, but to receive something like this today, it makes me feel good.
Defoe has found his Cherries game time limited this campaign and was linked with a move to Sheffield United earlier this week.