Tottenham support Defoe through his family loss

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The Independent Football

The Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe has spoken about how his life has been put in perspective following the death of his half-brother Jade, who died in hospital last Friday after suffering serious head injuries in an attack earlier that week.

"My mum turned up at the training ground and because I'm so close to my mum and my family, I knew instantly something was wrong," Defoe said. "She didn't have to say a word, I knew. I got the news and went straight to the hospital. It wasn't a nice experience but it was one I'll never forget. All my family were at his bedside and it was hard. It's hard to put into words how I felt but I'm glad I was there.

"When things like that happen it puts everything else into perspective. The things you thought were really important, you realise they are not. My brother will always be in my thoughts and in my heart and I'm sure this will make me stronger and appreciate everything in life."

After learning the news last week, Defoe did not travel to face Manchester United last weekend, but is back in the squad to play West Bromwich Albion at White Hart Lane today.

"I received a lot of cards, letters and messages from Spurs fans, so I'd like to thank them all," he added. "The club has been so supportive. It's been tough but I'm ready [to return]. I just want to get out there and do my stuff."

*David Wheater has promised to stay with Middlesbrough even if his hometown club are relegated from the Premier League this season.