Mascot Bradley Lowery's family accepts apology over false report of his death

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The family of terminally ill Bradley Lowery have accepted an apology from internet site the Ladbible after it incorrectly posted a story saying the boy had died.

The site is investigating how the article came to be published and has made a £20,000 donation to the popular football mascot's fund.

It was believed trolls started the RIPBradley hashtag on social media on Sunday before it was picked up elsewhere.

That led Bradley's family, from Blackhall, County Durham, to issue a statement and photo showing him smiling at home.

Later the family wrote on their Facebook page: "Hello.... I have spoken to the lad bible who have apologised for their mistake and would like to support Bradley's foundation moving forward.

"Although seeing the status was very upsetting mistakes happen and we would like to accept the apology and move forward from this.

"The lad bible have always supported Bradley's campaign and this has not changed.

"We have built our campaign on positivity and we would like to continue with this.

"Thank you for everyone's continued support."

The Ladbible posted a statement on their site, saying: "Earlier today we posted an incorrect story about Bradley Lowery, the inspirational young Sunderland supporter whose courageous battle against cancer has captured the hearts and minds of people around the world.

"We realise the magnitude of our error and unreservedly apologise to Bradley and his family.

"We're now investigating how and why this story was published to our website. It should not have been.

"We are in contact with Bradley's family to discuss this matter further, and have already committed to a £20,000 donation to support his Neuroblastoma treatment.

"Bradley's fundraising page is: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bradleylowerysfight.

"Once again, we cannot even begin to imagine the upset this will have caused Bradley, his family and anybody else following his brave fight.

"Our deepest apologies."

Bradley celebrated his sixth birthday earlier this month along with his "best mate" Jermain Defoe, the England striker, with a large party in his home village.