The Lions Club of Merriman was inspired by the friendship between Bradley Lowery, a six year old boy living in the United Kingdom and Jermain Defoe, the Bournemouth Football Club player.
Bradley who had been diagnosed with the rare cancer neuroblastoma at the age of just 18 months, was a regular Sunderland FC mascot, holding Jermain’s hand many times as the team walked onto the field for a match, before Jermain’s transfer to AFC Bournemouth FC. The pair became inseparable forming a unique friendship before Bradley’s death on 07 July 2017.
In recognition of his unlimited love, caring and consideration during Bradley’s illness, the Lions Club of Merriman awarded Jermain with the highest South African honour that may be presented to a Lion or non-Lion for dedicated and distinguished humanitarian service which exemplifies the ideals of Lionism, the Louis Volks Award.
The presentation took place at the AFC Bournemouth on Thursday, 08 March 2018 where the Lions Club of Merriman were represented by Past International Director Phil Nathan (Lions MD105), District Governor Peter Burnett (District 105D) Wimborne & Ferndown Lions Club, Past District Governor David Taylor (District 105D) Gillingham, Mere & Shaftesbury Lions Club and Anthony Marshall who is the Head of Media & Communications at AFC Bournemouth.
The award ceremony was televised and received much media coverage in the United Kingdom.
Past International Director Phil Nathan MBE also made a GPS 1,000 donation on behalf of the Lions Multiple District 105 (British Isles and Ireland) towards the Bradley Lowery Memorial Trust.
Well done to the members of the Lions Club of Merriman for initiating this worthwhile award.