A 16-year-old girl from Kelso, moved by the plight of Durham's Bradley Lowery - whose funeral takes place today - has vowed to shave off her long locks for charity.
She said: "As a school we are deeply saddened by the passing of Bradley Lowery, a little boy who was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma and battled with it for a number of years".
Last season he was mascot for Sunderland, Everton and England, striking up a remarkable friendship with Defoe, who left training in Spain with new club Bournemouth to be at the funeral.
Sunderland players John O'Shea, Lee Cattermole, Vito Mannone and ex-manager David Moyes were also among those packed into St Joseph's Catholic Church.
"He touched the hearts of many - the most inspirational boy".
Father Ian Jackson leading the service then read a eulogy of Bradley's life in which he told the story of his battle.
He asked that children wore their own team's colours and made a donation to the Bradley Lowery Foundation in line with the wishes of Bradley's family who have chosen the theme "Cancer Has No Colours".More news: Citigroup Beats on Profit as Trading Revenue Falls Less Than Expected
Hundreds of fans from all across the United Kingdom took up the advice of Bradley's parents and donned their favoured club's strip if they were unable to attend the public service in the village near Sunderland. A loving, caring son and brother - a handsome star.
The mother of Bradley Lowery has paid an emotional tribute to her "superhero in the sky" as thousands of people gathered for the funeral of the youngster whose fearless battle with neuroblastoma inspired millions.
A piper led the coffin, which was in a carriage pulled by white horses draped with his favourite team Sunderland's red and white stripes.
A mourner at Bradley Lowery's funeral.
Crowds lined the streets of Blackhall in their thousands as they turned out to say their last goodbyes to little fighter.
"Over these past years many people have been helped simply because of Brad".
His death prompted tributes from thousands of people from across the world.