Thousands of mourners lined the streets of Bradley Lowery’s home of Blackwood Colliery, in County Durham, as his funeral procession passed through earlier today.


The little boy’s coffin was carried in a white horse-drawn carriage through the streets to St Joseph’s Church, for the funeral ceremony.


Bradley’s best pal and idol, footballer Jermain Defoe, was seen weeping as he walked behind the coffin. 34-year-old Defoe flew back from a pre-season training camp in Spain to attend the funeral, according to The Mirror.


After Bradley’s death, Defoe paid tribute to the little boy, writing: "Goodbye my friend, going to miss you lots.


"I feel so blessed God brought you into my life, and had some amazing moments with you. For that, I'm so grateful.



"I'll never ever forget the way you looked at me when I met you for the first time, the genuine love in those cute eyes. Really finding it hard to find words to express what you mean to me.


“The way you say my name, your smiles when the cameras come out like a little superstar, and the love I felt when I was with you.


"Your courage and bravery will continue to inspire me for the rest of my life.


"You will never know what a difference you made to me as a person. God has you in his arms, and I will always carry you in my heart.


"Sleep tight little one. My best friend."



Speakers have been set up outside the church so that those who cannot fit in can listen to the service outside.


Many mourners donned their football shirts to represent Bradley’s love of the game. Some had shirts specially made to read “Superhero, 1, Bradley Lowery” on the reverse, to honour the little boy.


A group of people dressed in superhero costumes also joined the cortege, their costumes representing Bradley’s bravery and strength during his fight with cancer.


Yesterday, Bradley’s family kindly extended an invitation to the public to attend his funeral but asked that they refrain from approaching mourners for photos or autographs.


“Everyone is at the funeral to pay their respects and say goodbye," Bradley’s mum Gemma wrote on Facebook.



A private cremation service will be held following the funeral.


Bradley’s family have asked mourners not to send flowers or cards; instead, they can make a donation to the Bradley Lowery Foundation, or leave a message on the Remembering Bradley Facebook page.


Our thoughts are with Bradley's family on this difficult day.