JERMAIN Defoe has taken to social media to pay homage to the Sunderland fans who made his time on Wearside such a rewarding one – despite relegation this season.
The England international, who has joined Bournemouth on a three-year deal, also had a special mention for a special young man he has taken to his heart.
Defoe built up a close relationship with inspirational cancer fighter Bradley Lowery who led his beloved Black Cats out against Everton at Goodison Park in March, just days after it had emerged he had a new tumour.
Former Sunderland striker Defoe has spent a lot of time with his new best mate and we have all been touched by the many photos of them together.
It says a lot about Defoe, the person, that he has brought so much joy to brave Bradley who he is sure to stay in touch with – even though they are now living at opposite ends of the country.
In an open letter to Sunderland supporters – and Bradley in particular – Defoe stated…
“I’d like to thank all the Sunderland fans for their support and everyone else involved with the football club.
“I had an amazing time with many great memories. I’m going to miss so many people at the club from the canteen staff and the chef to the laundry girls and the cleaners who always made the boys smile no matter what.
“I feel blessed to have played for such a great football club with some of the best fans I’ve ever come across.
“The highlight of my time has to be walking out with Bradley against Everton and that volley against Newcastle – a goal people still come up to me and talk about!”
“I want to wish everyone at Sunderland the best for the future. There’s some talented players there and some great youngsters pushing through, so I can’t wait to see you back in the Premier League.”
Defoe will be remembered on Wearside for more reasons than one.