Jermain Defoe has flown home from Bournemouth’s pre-season training camp in Spain attend the funeral of Bradley Lowery on Friday.
During his time at Sunderland, the England striker struck up a close friendship with Bradley, who died on July 7 from a rare form of cancer aged six.
The funeral will take place at St Joseph’s Church in Blackhall Colliery, County Durham, with the memorial service also set to be played on loud speakers outside.
The family will then be having a private ceremony at a crematorium.
Bournemouth posted a message on the club’s official Twitter feed which said: “@IAmJermainDefoe has today departed our pre-season training camp and returned to the UK for the funeral of Bradley Lowery.”
Defoe, 34, signed a three-year deal with the Cherries after leaving Sunderland following their relegation from the Premier League.
Eddie Howe’s squad are currently away in Marbella, where they will take on Portuguese side Estoril in a friendly on Saturday.
Bournemouth open the new Premier League season at West Brom on August 12.