Seven things you may not have known about Raheem Sterling
Published 12/07/2015 | 18:45
Raheem Sterling has agreed a deal to sign for Manchester City. Here, Press Association Sport looks at seven things you may not know about the Reds' striker.
Raheem Shaquille Sterling was born on December 8 1994 in Jamaica. He moved with his mother to London aged seven, growing up on a tough housing estate in Brent in the shadow of Wembley Stadium. Hardly a model pupil, a schoolteacher once told him "by the time you're 17 you'll either be playing for England, or you'll be in prison."
At the age of 10 Sterling was playing for Oakington Manor School when he was spotted by QPR scout Peter Moring. He signed for the Rangers centre of excellence as an 11-year-old. Moring was paid £50 for his trouble.
A star of QPR's youth teams, Sterling played for the under-18s as a 14-year-old and word quickly spread about this emerging talent. Rangers youth boss Steve Gallen dubbed the team 'Raheem Park Rangers' because of his ability to win games on his own.
Unfortunately for Rangers, Sterling never played a first-team game for them as Liverpool won the race for his signature, snapping up the 15-year-old - by now an England youth international - for an initial fee of £500,000, rising to around £5million.
On 24 March 2012, Sterling made his Liverpool debut as a substitute in a Premier League match against Wigan. Aged 17 years and 107 days, he became the third-youngest player to play for the Reds. He scored his first goal in October that year, securing a 1-0 win over Reading. His England debut came a month later in a 4-2 friendly defeat by Sweden.
Off the field
Unfortunately Sterling has developed a habit of creating just as many headlines off the field. The striker, who has a daughter from a brief relationship when he was 16, was cleared in court of assaulting a former girlfriend in 2013. Newspaper pictures of Sterling allegedly smoking a shisha pipe, and apparently inhaling nitrous oxide, kept him on the front pages rather than the back.
The breakdown of Sterling's relationship with Liverpool has been as dramatic as his rise. In February manager Brendan Rodgers claimed Sterling had been offered an "incredible deal" to stay at Anfield. Two months later Sterling, in an interview with the BBC, confirmed he had turned down a new contract. In May his agent, Aidy Ward, said the player would not sign even for "£900,000 a week". With Manchester City having failed with two bids for Sterling, he attracted further criticism by missing two days of training through illness and reportedly asking not to go on the club's pre-season tour.