Mourners dressed in superhero costumes followed the funeral procession.Defoe, now signed for Bournemouth, left training in Spain to attend. Some released balloons as the cortege passed and a spontaneous round of applause broke out. Premier League footballer Jermain Defoe wore an England shirt for the funeral of his six-year-old “best friend”, Bradley Lowery, whose cancer battle captured hearts around the world. Thousands of people lined the streets of Blackhall, County Durham, ahead of the service at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, where the youngster was baptised six years ago. A piper lead the horse-drawn carriage carrying his coffin through the village, which came to a halt to pay tribute to the little boy with the beaming smile. The hearse departs St Joseph’s ChurchCredit:Getty Bradley Lowery, as family and friends wear football shirts for the funeral of the six-year-old mascotCredit:Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire Footballer Jermain Defoe arrives for the funeral of six year old Sunderland FC, fan, Bradley LowreyCredit:Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images Bradley died a week ago in his parents’ arms at home following a battle with the rare childhood cancer neuroblastoma. Former Sunderland FC manager David Moyes was also among the congregation.Defoe struck up a remarkable friendship with Bradley after the little boy appeared as a mascot for his beloved Sunderland. Credit:Getty Mourners line the streets ahead of the funeral of Bradley LoweryCredit:Owen Humphreys/PA Wire The cortege for the funeral of six year old Sunderland FC fan, Bradley Lowrey makes it’s way to St Joseph’s ChurchCredit:Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.