New Bournemouth striker needed time to address his emotions when asked about Bradley Lowery, the young boy whose fight with cancer took root in the hopes of football fans last season.
The six-year-old Lowery is reportedly in end of life care after a battle with neuroblastoma, and Defoe grew very close to the boy during his time at Sunderland.
[ MORE: Leicester closes in on Iheanacho ]
The relationship is genuine, and Defoe has spent a lot of time with Lowery as the youngster fought his disease, Tweeting that the pair were “#bestfriends” in February.
“I speak to the family every day. I was with him a few days ago and it was tough to see him suffer like that,” said the England international.
“He will always be in my heart for the rest of my life. There isn’t a day that goes past when I don’t wake up and check my phone or think about little Bradley.
“His love is genuine and I can see it in his eyes when he looks at me.”
That’s the part of being around children that is such a wonder: unconditional love. To be around that love while its holder suffers can be overwhelming. Our hearts are with the Lowery family, Defoe, and all young families fighting terminal diseases.