Good morning and happy friday, everyone.
It looks like we have been treated to back-to-back retirements this week. After dedicating a hoddle to Ashleigh Barty’s retirement on Thursday, I’d be remiss to not mention Jermain Defoe today.
I came into my Spurs fandom only a few months before Defoe left Tottenham Hotspur for a second time in 2014, so I cannot pretend that I have fond memories of his playing time at Spurs.
Yet, because he did spend a considerable amount of his career at Spurs, I was always fond of him.
One of my friends was actually surprised when I told him a few months ago that, at age 39, Defoe was still lacing up his boots.
Defoe ended his 17-year career with 162 Premier League goals in 469 appearances (ninth-most all time), 20 goals in 57 caps for England and a Scottish Premiership trophy.
As someone who saw little of him on the pitch, I will remember him most for his relationship with Bradley Lowery. The 6-year-old Sunderland fan, who died of cancer in 2017, was an important part of Defoe’s life.
I will remember all that Defoe did for that child. I will remember Defoe holding his hand and led him out onto Wembley Stadium ahead of an England match. I will remember the tribute Defoe wrote when Lowery died:
Sleep tight little one... pic.twitter.com/iGqLXdvlVi— Jermain Defoe OBE (@IAmJermainDefoe) July 8, 2017
“The way you say my name, your little smiles when the cameras come out like a superstar and the love I felt when I was with you.
“Your courage and bravery will continue to inspire me for the rest of my life. You will never know what a difference you made to me as a person.
“God has you in his arms and I will always carry you in my heart. Sleep tight little one. My best friend.”
The two had a beautiful relationship and a lasting legacy on each other. Defoe was a champion for Lowery,
Last month, when Defoe returned to Sunderland, the club donated £1 to each ticket sold in his return match for the Bradley Lowery Foundation, which supports families raising funds for treatment/equipment not readily or available covered by the UK’s NHS.
This is what I will remember most from Defoe’s career. It was a career spent changing one kid’s life, and so many others through the foundation set up in Lowey’s honour.
Fitzie’s track of the day: I Want to Take You Higher, by Sly & The Family Stone
And now for your links:
Kyle Walker-Peters pleased to prove ‘a few people wrong’ at Spurs following England call up
Tottenham likely to benefit from Uefa’s new transfer and salary rules
Luca Gunter signs professional contract with Tottenham Hotspur
The Athletic ($$): UK government amends Chelsea license to sell tickets with revenue from sale to benefit victims of war in Ukraine
Fenerbahce drop Mesut Ozil from the squad
Everton fan who threw bottle at Aston Villa’s Matty Cash given suspended prison sentence