Sydney Sunderland Supporters to play Crystal Palace Sydney Supporters in charity football match to raise money for Bradley Lowery Foundation

For Bradley: Crystal Palace fan Jimmy Fletcher (left) with Sydney Sunderland Supporters founder Chris Green. Picture: John Veage
For Bradley: Crystal Palace fan Jimmy Fletcher (left) with Sydney Sunderland Supporters founder Chris Green. Picture: John Veage

He was the little boy whose story captivated much of the sporting world.

And on Sunday, a group of die hard football fans want to do their bit for Bradley.

A group of Sydney-based supporters of proud English football club Sunderland have organised a charity football match against a supporters club of English Premier League club Crystal Palace.

The match, to be played at Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda, will be used to raise money for the Bradley Lowery Foundation.

Bradley’s story touched the hearts of football fans around the world. He suffered from neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive form of childhood cancer. A Sunderland fan, he struck up a friendship with former Sunderland and England striker Jermain Defoe.

Bradley died in July, 2017. He was just six-years-old.

Sydney Sunderland Supporters founder Chris Green said although Bradley had passed away the club were still actively trying to raise money for the foundation.

Bradley Lowery

Bradley Lowery

“His story touched not just Sunderland supporters but football supporters. You only had to be a part-time football fan to have heard Bradley’s story,” he said.

“When he walked out at Wembley with Defoe, it was such a big moment. I don’t recall a child affected by a life-debilitating disease in the media spotlight like he was which was down to Defoe. I’ve met him and he is a fantastic bloke.

“Bradley has passed away but there are kids all over the world suffering from neuroblastoma. Treatment is extremely expensive and not covered by their NHS [in England] or our Medicare over here.”

Green, who hopes to turn the fixture into an annual event against other Sydney-based supporters clubs, has been a Sunderland fan for almost 12 years. A former shire resident whose best mate’s father was from the north-east of England, Green chose to follow the Black Cats after learning of their story and their famous red and white stripes – the same colours as his beloved NRL side St George Illawarra.

From there Green took on the life of many English football fans down under – 2am kick-offs and bleary-eyed mornings. 

Sunderland have suffered back to back relegations from the Premier League but Green and the Sydney Sunderland Supporters are hopeful of a return to the English Championship next season.

Gates open at midday on Sunday with the match to kick-off at 2pm.

Entry is by gold coin donation, with special Sunderland Bradley Lowery Foundation playing shirts available to buy for $10.

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