STERLING EFFORT Generous Raheem Sterling spends £20k to send 550 kids from old school to Man City’s FA Cup semi-final with Brighton

England ace has retained strong links with Wembley, where he grew up, and wants to give something back to the community


Posted Friday, April 05, 2019 by Dailystar.co.uk

RAHEEM STERLING has spent around £20,000 to send 550 children from his old school to watch Manchester City take on Brighton in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley on Saturday.

The England international will personally present pupils from Ark Elvin Academy in Wembley, north-west London, with the tickets at City's training complex this afternoon.

STERLING EFFORT Generous Raheem Sterling spends £20k to send 550 kids from old school to Man City’s FA Cup semi-final with Brighton
Raheem Sterling will send 550 children from his old school to watch Man City play against Brighton in the FA Cup semis

Sterling, 24, grew up in Wembley and went to Ark Elvin Academy, formerly known as Copland Community School.

More than 90 per cent of pupils at the school are believed to come from minority ethnic backgrounds, with more than 50 language being spoken.

Big-hearted Sterling and Man City will also provide transport for the 550 children from north London to Manchester to collect those tickets today.

The City ace has retained strong links to the place where he was brought up after moving to England from Jamaica at the age of five.

Sterling has previously spoken about his plans to form an academy for disadvantaged children at the Bridge Community centre in north London and urged Brent Council to back his plans.

MAN OF THE PEOPLE

He said: "I wanted to open an academy in London, near where I grew up, to give something back and to give kids the chance to showcase their talent.

"It's so that everyone gets the same opportunities up and down the country and they get a platform for people to have something to do.

"Once I was one of those kids and football was the saviour.

"But then Brent Council... Bridge Park was being sold and it was a massive uproar, a lot of people weren't happy.

"It made sense to see if I could have a part, try to own the building, see what was possible."

City have been struggling to sell their tickets for the game, with around being 2,000 returned back to the FA.

However, Sterling reportedly stunned club chiefs with his request.

Rebecca Curtis, headteacher of the school, told TalkSPORT: "We've been blown away by this act of generosity. It's such a special gift for our pupils.

"They live in the shadows of Wembley but rarely get the chance to get inside, let alone see such an important match.

"An old boy from Ark Elvin School will be playing too. We think he's great. He's our hero. We are really appreciative of what he's doing.

"Five girls and five boys have gone and they'll never forget it. And those who go will never forget Saturday.

"It's been delightful. He will get some loud cheers from a corner of the stadium on Saturday."

Year 10 student Mamadou Diallo added: "It was an amazing experience going to Manchester City. Meeting Raheem Sterling and having the opportunity to ask him questions not only inspired but also motivated everyone in the room.

"Raheem is someone that’s just like us and went to the same school. We know that if we work hard and follow our passion, we can do anything we want."

City have backed Sterling's generous plan and have helped to make it happen with chief operating officer Omar Berrarda saying: “We are very proud to support Raheem.

"He has reached out to the community he grew up in, by giving FA Cup semi-final tickets to students from his old school.

"We hope all of the children enjoy their day at Wembley and cheering on Manchester City as they play to get to the final."

Sterling - who was brought up within a few hundered yards of Wembley Stadium, has retained close links with his old home since leaving.

He has been looking to redevelop Bridge Park community centre to form an academy for disadvantaged children in the area.

STERLING EFFORT Generous Raheem Sterling spends £20k to send 550 kids from old school to Man City’s FA Cup semi-final with Brighton
Sterling grew up in Wembley and says he wants to give back to the place he was brought up in



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