The mother of terminally ill football mascot Bradley Lowery has posted a heartbreaking Facebook message to say his cancer has progressed.
His mother told his thousands of fans that the youngster had been experiencing severe pain in his legs which was the result of the aggressive neuroblastoma progressing.
The devastating news comes just weeks after mum Gemma said that Bradley was "feeling better" after receiving pioneering treatment in London.
The world of football has rallied behind the five-year-old Sunderland fan who has neuroblastoma, and his friendship with star striker Jermain Defoe has touched many supporters.
On the Facebook page she uses to update his many thousands of well-wishers around the world, his mother Gemma said: "Bradley has been experiencing a lot of pain over the past few weeks with his legs.
"Originally we thought it might of been off him doing too much playing.
"However he went down for an emergency MRI today and it has been confirmed that his cancer has progressed a lot and this is what is causing the pain."
She said she hoped radiotherapy would allow Bradley to visit America for a holiday.
But she added: "This is not good news for us and things are moving too fast."
Bradley, who is from Blackhall, County Durham, has been asked to be Sunderland's mascot several times this season, as well as by Everton whose fans have also taken his cause to heart.
Bradley was also picked to be a mascot for England's World Cup qualifier against Lithuania, walking out with goalscorer Defoe.