Bradley Lowery: Boy with cancer given honorary place in Grand National

Nick Powell, Sports Editor

After hearing "news no parent should have to hear", the Lowerys gave their five-year-old son Bradley one more day in the sun at Aintree.

The child, who is suffering from a rare form of cancer, was given an honorary 41st place in the Grand National field.

As Carl carried him in his arms in the parade ring, Gemma told me: "Bradley absolutely loves horses, loves animals, he likes to go on the horse down the caravan where his nan and granddad live."

They went ahead with their visit to Aintree despite learning on Friday that the treatment which has been seen as Bradley's last hope had not worked.

"It's heartbreaking," Gemma said.

"But it's about making memories and enjoying the time that we've got with him so there was no other option but to come and have a special day."

He's had a few, not least last month when he led out the England football team for a match at Wembley alongside Jermain Defoe, the Sunderland striker who has befriended him.

The club have been at the forefront of the Lowery family's campaign to raise awareness and funds to fight neuroblastoma, the rare form of cancer he was first diagnosed with aged 18 months.

He went into remission after two years but the disease returned in July 2016.

The family tweeted on Friday: "We have received the news no parent should ever have to hear.

"We don't know how long it will be before the cancer wins, but what we do know is that we will continue to enjoy our superhero every second of the day."

This was their first visit to a race meeting, Gemma said.

"Not only is Bradley having a good time but it's making us everlasting memories that we can look back on, and say at least he's had a lot of experiences other people wouldn't be able to have in a lifetime, so it gives us something."

For the National, Bradley picked the horse with the number five to match his age (Saphir du Rheu), and gave me a little smile and a high five.

His mum selected a horse because of an appropriate name - Cause of Causes.

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