The family of a city five-year-old who died of bone cancer have described former Canaries star James Maddison as "part of the family" as he continues to raise cash for their charity.

The England international is to host a golf day featuring a host of current and former Premier League footballers along with other celebrities in order to raise money for Sophie's Sparkle Fund, which was set up after Sophie Taylor, from Sprowston, died in 2019.

Maddison, who is currently playing for Tottenham Hotspur, befriended the youngster during her battle with cancer while he was playing for Norwich, bringing her onto the pitch with him and supporting fundraising for her treatment.

Norwich Evening News: Carrow Road pays tribute to Sophie TaylorCarrow Road pays tribute to Sophie Taylor (Image: Newsquest)

Sophie's dad, Alex Taylor, says Maddison has continued to help the family since she died in 2019, backing the charity set up in her honour to fund research into bone cancer and support Norfolk families with young children who have been diagnosed with cancer.

He said: "For us James has been a huge advocate for Sophie, right from her diagnosis to when she died.

Norwich Evening News: Sophie Taylor and her dad Alex sticking their tongues out at cancerSophie Taylor and her dad Alex sticking their tongues out at cancer (Image: Newsquest)

READ MORE: James Maddison takes off shirt to reveal tribute to Sophie Taylor after scoring for Leicester

"We treat him like an extended member of the family and I'm pretty sure he feels the same way, we talk regularly.

"He's always wanting to support Sophie's charity and what he's come up with is amazing.

Norwich Evening News: James Maddison in action for the CanariesJames Maddison in action for the Canaries (Image: Newsquest)

"She'd be so proud of it all and to know the impact it has made, it's her legacy and our way of remembering her.

"Hopefully he can raise lots of money and they can have a great day which can then fund more research and support, which will really help so many families in Norfolk."

READ MORE: Former Norwich player will wear boots dedicated to Sophie Taylor when he plays for England

The Maddison Invitational will take place at The Shire Golf Club in Barnet on Sunday, October 8. Those wishing to donate to the fundraiser can do so here.

James and Sophie's friendship

Norwich Evening News: James Maddison with Sophie TaylorJames Maddison with Sophie Taylor (Image: Newsquest)

Sophie met Maddison during his time with the Canaries when she was the matchday mascot for a 3-1 win against Aston Villa in April 2018.

Following the match, the pair kept in touch and Maddison regularly visited Sophie during her treatment at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge even having a kickabout with her after she had a prosthetic leg fitted.

Following a multi-million-pound move to Leicester City, Maddison kept in touch with Sophie and her family and after her death in 2019, he invited the family to be guests of honour at the Foxes' Premier League clash with the Canaries in December 2019.

In tribute to Sophie, Maddison wore an undershirt with the phrase 'RIP Sophie, I love you on it' and revealed it when scoring against Burnley.

He later wore a pair of boots with a picture of her on them and of him revealing the shirt while playing for England.