Jermain Defoe Expresses Shock at Sheffield Wednesday Fan’s Mockery of Bradley Lowery’s Passing
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Jermain Defoe Expresses Shock at Sheffield Wednesday Fan’s Mockery of Bradley Lowery’s Passing

Jermain Defoe expressed his profound dismay and sorrow in response to a Sheffield Wednesday fan who ridiculed the passing of Sunderland mascot Bradley Lowery. Dale Houghton, aged 31, openly admitted to a public order offense in connection to this incident during his appearance before Sheffield magistrates on Monday.

Ex-Sunderland striker Defoe formed a close bond with Bradley, who he called his “best mate”, before his death from cancer in 2017.

Bradley, of Blackhall Colliery, County Durham, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma – a rare type of cancer – when he was 18 months old.

Defoe said he was “one of the most inspirational children this world has ever seen, and he will never stop inspiring us”.

Houghton, from Rotherham, was charged after pictures circulated on X, formerly Twitter, showing two men laughing at Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium on Friday, as the defendant held up a photo of Bradley on his phone.

“I’m appalled and saddened by the actions of the individual in question,” Defoe told Mail Online after Houghton appeared in court.

He added: “My thoughts at this time go out to [Bradley’s parents] Gemma and Carl, who shouldn’t have to deal with incidents like this, but rather be praised for the amazing work they are doing with the Bradley Lowery Foundation in their son’s memory.

Jermain Defoe Expresses Shock at Sheffield Wednesday Fan’s Mockery of Bradley Lowery’s Passing

“I urge the public to stand behind the family and continue to support the Foundation and its projects.”

More than £22,500 has been donated to an appeal set up by Sheffield Wednesday fans after Friday’s match to raise money for the charity.

Leanne Wood, from Sheffield Wednesday Women’s Supporters’ Group, said she set up the fundraising page in response to being “absolutely disgusted” by Houghton’s actions.

Bradley’s mother has said the support was “overwhelming” and “incredible”.

She characterized Houghton’s behavior as “inexcusable” and “profoundly distressing” for the family. Houghton is scheduled for sentencing on November 17th, where he could potentially face a prison sentence.

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