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  1. ITV Report

Footballer's touching tribute to Norwich girl who died from cancer

Credit: @Madders10

Former Norwich City player James Maddison has paid a touching tribute to little Sophie Taylor who lost her battle with a rare type of bone cancer in January.

5-year-old Sophie from Sprowston near Norwich, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma last year but fought hard against the disease - defiantly sticking her tongue out in photographs posted on social media and encouraging others to do the same by using the hashtag: #takeasophie.

She and James Maddison struck up a special friendship after she was a mascot for Norwich City.

In a tweet the Leicester City player described how his first goal since she passed away was dedicated to the little girl.

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In response Sophie's family described the footballer as a "special person"

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Maddison defended the ref saying he didn't have a choice. Credit: PA Images

The move led to the midfielder being booked for removing his shirt and sparked criticism towards referee Michael Oliver.

Maddison later defended Oliver tweeting "he was just doing his job and didn't have a choice."

Sophie's story and more information on osteosarcoma.