Bradley Lowery: Mum Gemma tells This Morning consequences needed over apparent mocking of death

  • Gemma Lowery explains why she decided to press charges on This Morning

Bradley Lowery's mum Gemma has said there should be consequences for the man responsible for appearing to mock her son's death at a football match.

His death appeared to be mocked by Dale Houghton during the Black Cats' 3-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday last month.

Speaking alongside former England striker Jermain Defoe on ITV's This Morning, Ms Lowery said: "The whole point in the Bradley Lowery Foundation is so we can support people so they don't have to go through what I went through so that's what I decided - there does need to be consequences and the law has to deal with it.

"There's banter and there is being disrespectful and that was disrespectful."

Sunderland fan Bradley captured the hearts of the nation during his battle with neuroblastoma, appearing as a mascot for Sunderland and England alongside "best friend" Defoe, before dying aged six in 2017.

Pictures on social media purported to show Houghton him displaying a picture of Bradley and laughing towards Sunderland supporters.

The 31-year-old, from Rotherham, has since pleaded guilty to a public order offence at Sheffield Magistrates' Court and has been told he could face a prison sentence for his actions.

Gemma Lowery appeared on This Morning alongside former England striker Jermain Defoe. Credit: This Morning

Ms Lowery admitted she was initially reluctant to press charges but felt it was important to send a message to others.

"I wasn't going to prosecute because I felt like the backlash on social media was enough," she explained. "And saying that I want people to please leave them alone now, especially the family.

"However, the thing that changed my mind was the policewoman said 'you need to think about this because what if it happens to another family?'"

Her thoughts were echoed by Defoe who stressed the need for football fans to understand their wider responsibilities.

Bradley Lowery and Jermain Defoe became close friends during his battle with Neuroblastoma. Credit: PA

"It was difficult for me to understand it on the human side," he said. "You have a responsibility as football fans, you are representing your club and your community. When I saw the images I didn't really know what to say because I just couldn't believe it.

"Like Gemma said, something has to be done because it is a big mistake."

The wider football community have been hugely supportive of the Lowery family since the incident, helping to raise more than £28,000 for the Bradley Lowery Foundation after a fundraiser was set up by Sheffield Wednesday supporters.

Ms Lowery thanked football fans for their support as she looked to focus on the positives of the situation. The money will go towards building a holiday home, called Super Brad's Pad, to be used by families with sick children.

Work to build Super Brad's Pad is already underway. Credit: This Morning

"The whole football community has been amazing," she said. "They have raised a lot of money for the foundation that is going to go towards our holiday home that we are building for sick children.

"So although there is a negative I don't want to dwell on it and I want to think about the positive, I want to think about what we are going to do with that money.

"We are going to help children, put smiles back on their faces and make special memories for the family.

"Every child should be made to feel special. My thoughts are lets build a beautiful holiday home so all the family can go and make those special memories with those children."

Building work for the project is already underway while fundraising continues. Defoe has helped organise a raffle of football memorabilia to raise money for the home that will include signed items from England captain Harry Kane.

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