The family of cancer-stricken football mascot Bradley Lowery have vowed to "continue to make memories and enjoy our super hero" after doctors said his "last option" treatment for the disease was not working.
Five-year-old Sunderland fan Bradley has touched the world of football through his battle to overcome the disease, striking up a moving friendship with the team's England international Jermain Defoe.
Bradley's supporters said the youngster, from Blackhall in County Durham, might be in line to receive new treatment in an effort to tackle his neuroblastoma - a solid tumour which makes up 8% of the total number of children's cancer in the UK but whose cause remains unknown.
However, a post on his campaign Facebook page, apparently written by his mother Gemma, revealed his cancer fight had suffered a significant setback.
It read: "We have just got back from the hospital with news no parent should ever have to hear ...
"Scan results show treatment that Bradley has been receiving is not working, this means we will not get him cancer-free as this was our last option.
"We can still go to London and receive the trial there, however this a phase 1 trial and hasn't shown any success in neuroblastoma up to now.
"We are understandably heartbroken about the recent news, hearing this type of thing never gets easier.
"We don't know how long it will be before the cancer wins, but what we do know is that we will continue to make memories and enjoy our super hero every second of the day.
"Thank you to everyone for all your support."
Bradley got a rousing reception from England fans as he walked out as a mascot for last month's World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.
The terminally-ill football fan cancelled a hospital visit from his "best friend" Defoe two weeks ago "as he didn't want him to see him poorly", according to a tweet.
He was cheered up a couple of days later when he felt a little better and the Black Cats striker popped by.