Jermain Defoe opens up about emotional Wembley moment with 'best friend' Bradley Lowery

Ben Burrows
Jermain Defoe admitted it was an emotional day all round for him at Wembley: Getty

Jermain Defoe admitted he struggled to keep his emotions in check as he made his England return after an absence of more than three years.

The Sunderland striker marked his Wembley return with the opening goal in England's 2-0 win over Lithuania in their World Cup qualifying Group F match on Sunday.

It was an emotional occasion all round for Defoe who led the team out alongside Bradley Lowery - the terminally ill five-year-old Sunderland fan with whom he has formed such a bond.

"It's hard to put into words really," he said. "I had to keep my emotions (under control), obviously little Brad was with me.

"You can imagine how I felt doing that, it was special.

"Just to be back playing with the lads was a great feeling."

Defoe’s fine form for relegation-threatened Black Cats saw him earn the recall to the squad for the games with Germany and Lithuania.

And he says he hopes to continue scoring enough goals to stay in Gareth Southgate’s squad, who now sit top Group F with 13 points from five games, ahead of the World Cup in Russia next year.

"Obviously I've got to go back to my club and make sure we finish the season strong," he added. "I'll keep my head down and see what happens.

"It's good to be back. Just to win the game was important and we did that. It's hard to put in words really to be back."

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