Raheem Sterling Planning to Fund Two Primary Schools in Kingston, Jamaica


Raheem SterlingRaheem Sterling has revealed how his mum keeps his feet on the ground — by making him clean the living room.

The 18-year-old made his Liverpool debut a year ago next month, and has since earned a full England debut and a new contract with the Reds.

But that doesn’t mean he can neglect his household chores.

“My mum and my family stop me getting carried away with it all,” Sterling told Liverpoolfc.com. “They are a big help. My mum has moved up from London.

“She talks to me about the games and training, making sure that everything is going smoothly. If I score or make an assist she’ll tell me that I need to keep doing it.

“I get told off all the time. She tells me off for being lazy, for not helping around the house — but I’m becoming better at that. She wants me to brush the stairs and help out in the kitchen — it’s hard work. She gives me stick but I do my bit. I cleaned the living room a couple of days ago.”

In a sit-down interview with the club’s official website, Sterling spoke about having to grow up during the past 12 months as he adjusts to being a household name.

Distractions such as Twitter, Facebook and BBM have been sidelined — “Me and Twitter are finished” — and his focus outside of training has instead turned to charity work back in his country of birth, Jamaica.

“I’ve had to do quite a bit of growing up, to keep my head down,” said Sterling. “I can’t do the things I did [before making his debut], going to different places. I am monitoring my time better and making sure I get loads of rest.

“When I go to Jamaica in the summer I’m looking to pay for two primary schools in my area, for the whole school’s school fees and their lunch money for the year. Hopefully it can be done. I went last summer. Everyone is living okay but not everyone has it easy — their mums and dads have to work hard for it. If I can chip in and help, that would be good.”

Sterling grew up in the Maverley area of Kingston before moving to England with his mother aged five.

His London primary school was two minutes away from Wembley and the youngster would ride his BMX around the stadium as it was being rebuilt.

He would go on to represent England at U-16, U-17, U-19 and U-21 level — and any doubts that he would abandon the Three Lions for Jamaica at senior level were extinguished when Roy Hodgson handed him a full debut against Sweden in November.

“I grew up playing for England’s youth teams and it just didn’t seem right to switch,” said the winger, who has scored two goals in 38 games for Liverpool. “I want to continue my education with England. It was a dream come true to make my debut and I’m really grateful. Hopefully I can kick on with Liverpool and hopefully get more caps for England.”

Thirty five of Sterling’s appearances for Liverpool have come this season under Brendan Rodgers. Only two players have featured more often for the Northern Irishman — Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard (37 apiece).

However, the arrival of Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge in January has meant places have been harder to come by.

So how does he go about regaining his place and what areas of the game is he trying to improve on?

“As a young player you’ve just got to work hard,” said Sterling. “Hopefully I can get on the bench and then make an impact coming off the bench. Hopefully I can get a chance and take it.

“I don’t feel an added pressure. I can’t try and overdo it. I’ve got to play my normal game and hopefully that will work out.

“I’ve been in the gym a few times a week. Size isn’t an issue as long as you can hold your own on the pitch.

“I want to work on my long-distance shooting and my decision making.”

Sterling’s transition into a first-teamer has been aided by the presence of a clutch of other academy graduates at Melwood.

Players such as Suso, Jack Robinson, Adam Morgan, Andre Wisdom, Conor Coady and Jerome Sinclair have all featured under Rodgers.

“There are a few people I can speak to or relate to, because they were in the same youth team together and grew up together,” said Sterling. “It’s good to have them around.”

Wisdom in particular has looked at home in the first team, and Sterling admits the Leeds-born defender is a positive influence among the youngsters.

“He was one of the first people I met when I came to Liverpool — him and Conor [Coady],” he said. “He’s a really nice lad, down to earth.

“When we were in the reserves he was the leader, the one who gave all the advice and did all the talking. Now he looks for advice from other players but he also has his own opinions that he isn’t shy to make known, which is good for a young player.

“He knows how to spend his money, he doesn’t spend it on stupid stuff — only if it’s needed or his family need it. “He doesn’t think too much of himself and he’s always there if you need someone.

“Hopefully he can nail a place down in the Liverpool team in the near future. The way he’s carrying on now and the progress he’s made, he’s got every chance of getting an England cap. Hopefully he can do that over the next year or two.”

Though there are others whose careers have taken off at a similar time, Sterling’s trajectory has been uniquely steep — and the teenager realizes he has a lot to be thankful for.

“I think everyone who plays for Liverpool has to pinch themselves now and again,” he said. “It’s a dream come true for all the players. You’ve got to realize that it’s real, kick on with it, work hard and try to do your best for the football club.”

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