A written piece by England star Raheem Sterling has fans shedding a tear ahead of the much anticipated Euro 2020 final on Sunday.
Three Lions supporters have expressed their gratitude to the forward’s mother and sister after the part they played in developing his talent emerged online.
The article, that was first published in 2018, describes Sterling’s humble start in life and the part his family played, however his quotes have gone viral again ahead of the game and it’s got everyone reading it emotional.
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The 26-year-old from Brent in West London started playing football when he was 10 year old when a mentor started a Sunday League. Soon teams like Arsenal and Fulham were watching him and his mother Nadine persuaded him to sign for Queen’s Park Rangers, and his sister Kima-Lee took him to practices.
He wrote in the Player’s Tribune: “She said, ‘If you go there, there’s going to be 50 players who are just as good as you. You’ll just be a number. You need to go somewhere where you can work your way up.’
“She convinced me to go to QPR, and it was probably the best decision I ever made. At QPR, they didn’t let me slip up. But it was quite hard for my family, because my mum would never let me go to training alone. And she always had to work, so my sister would have to take me all the way out to Heathrow.
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“Three buses. The 18 to the 182 to the 140. The red double-deckers with the blue wool 80s vibe on the seats. Spent ages on those. We’d leave at 3:15 and get home at 11 p.m. Every. Single. Day. She’d sit upstairs in the little cafe and chill until I was done with training. Imagine being 17 years old and doing that for your little brother. And I never once heard her say, “Nah, I don’t wanna take him.”
“At the time, I didn’t understand how much she was sacrificing. Her and my mum got me here. My whole family played a massive part in my life. Without them, you wouldn’t even know me.”
He also went on to describe his childhood years in Jamaica, how he moved to London and helped his mother in her cleaning job, and how he used to play football on a green in the shadows of Wembley Stadium.
The forward said: “I grew up in the shadow of my dream. Literally. I watched the new Wembley stadium go up from my back garden. One day, I walked outside and I saw this massive arch in the sky.
“It was rising up over the top of the housing estates like a mountain. I used to kick about in this green right by my house, and I could take a shot on goal and then turn round to celebrate and the Wembley arch would literally be right above my head. It was like you were there.”
Raheem was signed by Liverpool from the QPR academy back in 2010, initially playing for the club’s youth side, however he then moved into the first team, and subsequently to five-time Premier League title winners Manchester City in 2015.
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He also hit out at the media for how the treated him and his private life as well as other footballers.
He wrote: “You know… it’s sad that I even have to say this, but I’m going to say it anyway. There’s a perception in certain parts of the media that I love “bling.” I love diamonds. I love to show off. I really don’t understand where that comes from. Especially when I bought my mum a house, it was unbelievable what some people were writing. I think it’s really sad that people do that. They hate what they don’t even know.
“A few years ago, I would let it get to me. I’d be saying to my mum, “Why are they picking on me?”
“But now, as long as my mum and my sister and my kids don’t have any stress, I’m good.
“If people want to write about my mum’s bathroom in her house, all I have to tell you is that 15 years ago, we were cleaning toilets in Stonebridge and getting breakfast out of the vending machine. If anybody deserves to be happy, it’s my mum. She came to this country with nothing and put herself through school cleaning bathrooms and changing bed sheets, and now she’s the director of a nursing home.
“And her son plays for England.”
You can read it in full by clicking HERE.
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On a Instagram post, he said after seeing a particular headline in 2018: “Good morning I just want to say , I am not normally the person to talk a lot but when I think I need my point to heard I will speak up.
“Regarding what was said at the Chelsea game as you can see by my reaction I just had to laugh because I don’t expect no better.
“For example you have two young players starting out there careers both play for the same team, both have done the right thing.
“Which is buy a new house for there mothers who have put in a lot of time and love into helping them get where they are, but look how the news papers get there message across for the young black player and then for the young white payer.
“I think this in unacceptable both innocent have not done a thing wrong but just by the way it has been worded.
“This young black kid is looked at in a bad light. Which helps fuel racism an aggressive behaviour, so for all the news papers that don’t understand why people are racist in this day and age all i have to say is have a second thought about fair publicity an give all players an equal chance.”
The written piece by Raheem Sterling has fans shedding a tear ahead of the final, here is what some wrote…
@oldschoolanchor: Yet there’s talk of Southgate and Kane getting knighted if they win the Euros. Sterling is the hero of the team yet the English media as per usual turn on their own…..I’ll never understand it. If Sterling played for Ireland he would be an absolute hero to the people.
@villaman101: You can still see he has resentment for the media in parts when giving interviews etc and you cant blame him
@bolland1987: Shouldn’t have to justify what he buys. Who really cares if he buys diamonds or not. Fair play to him he’s earnt it so spend it 🏴🦁⚽️
@Moti_027: Exactly, what irks me the most is that people are clambering for players to be paid less. Yet all that would do is put more money into the pockets of already rich men. Footballers get paid fairly for what they bring in
@rowjoelane: Good Lad. @sterling7 Keep doing what your doing. The majority are so so proud of you and what you and the team are achieving. But no one will be prouder than your family.
@rubenbias_: Those last two sentences hit different
@_CharlieFrancis: Any right minded person in the world who manages to so alright for theirself and earns a few quid would buy their Mam a house and tell her to put her feet up. Why should Sterling even have to come out and justify what he does with his well earned money?
@SaeedAFC1998: Man i just cried 💔
@phillyt1: Man buys things with money he earns, tabloids can’t stand it.
@tomlinsonlindam: Such an uplifting tweet! Congratulations to Raheem’s mum! She did an amazing job bringing up such a talented warm and loveable son! I am not much of a football fan but I can recognise an outstanding team player when I see one!! Can we have more goals from Raheem please on Sunday!
@KevinSargentMus: Lump in the throat here
@thisguywallace: Beautiful, I genuinely choked at: ‘Every. Single. Day. She’d sit upstairs in the little cafe and chill until I was done with training. Imagine being 17 years old and doing that for your little brother. And I never once heard her say, “Nah, I don’t wanna take him.”’ ♥️♥️
@victoriaehmann: This is the bit that made me cry. What an awesome sister.
@shanegibbons85: I read this a couple of years ago and I’ve loved him ever since. Such a great story. His mum must be so proud of herself as much as she is of him. The years of hard work and sacrifice she put to give him this opportunity.
@sphipps34: What a mum, what a sister! And the great thing is how he celebrates the destination but doesn’t forget the journey.
@MissVeeBee: I’ve taught this @sterling7 piece to my students- it’s excellent
@MsTamarCohen: It’s humbling isn’t it? The mums and the sisters, the unsung heroes
@AngryofAlton: That’s a wonderful read and a humbling story. A real sense of how family, community and total dedication had to combine to arrive at that performance last night. Love it!
▪️Father murdered at 2
▪️Moved to England at 5
▪️Kept moving as Mum couldn’t afford rent
▪️Cleaned toilets at 5am
▪️Sister took him on 3 buses to training
▪️Teacher said he wouldn’t make it
Overcame it all to lead 🏴 to Euro final!👏💪https://t.co/A9mA4qeevg
— Blaine McKenna (@BlaineMcKenna77) July 9, 2021