Raheem Sterling Signed His England Hat-Trick Shirt And Donated It To Charity

It would have been understandable for Raheem Sterling to keep a tight grip on his match shirt after his first England hat-trick, but that's not what the Manchester City winger did.

Having ripped Czech Republic to shreds at Wembley, Sterling came up to visit some of Football Beyond Borders' participants who had just witnessed his three-goal haul in the 5-0 victory.

Sterling has become a key role model on and off the pitch for youngsters in recent times, so much so that 'FBB' held a session in the day where they focussed on the mature manner in which he spoke out about racism in football.

Image: PA
Image: PA

But those involved charity were given a surprise appearance from the man himself, who sat and chatted about a variety of issues and even signed and donated the shirt he'd just worn in his most memorable Three Lions' game.

"It was absolutely huge for Raheem Sterling to come and show his support for Football Beyond Borders," Football Beyond Borders director Jasper Kain told SPORTbible.

"He is a real inspiration to our young people, who look up to a player who has worked tirelessly to become the player he has become today.

"It was amazing to hear him speak after the game to us about a range of topics included the importance of self belief and also the talent of the next generation of players including Jadon Sancho and Callum Hudson-Odoi with such admiration, you could tell he is a really positive influence for them too.

"He didn't have to come and see us but decided to do so having been invited by Nike as part of their new 720 campaign. He sat down with us and we were struck by his inquisitive, thoughtful and caring manner.

"He couldn't have been further from the image a lot of the media have portrayed him in the past. Here was a conscientiousness and caring leader who decided to donate his signed match day shirt to the charity. It will now take pride of place in our youth centre."

'FBB' are an education charity using the power of football to change the lives of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. They have 46 projects a week in London and Manchester, working with over 700 young people.

Sterling went out of his way to give advice to the next generation and that will have been invaluable to the young people who had the pleasure of being in his company.

There's a recurring theme of Sterling going above and beyond to help young people.

In Friday night's qualifier, the former Liverpool man lifted his shirt to pay tribute to Damary Dawkins, a 13-year-old youth team player from Crystal Palace who sadly passed away with Leukaemia earlier this week.

For those who don't know the background to this story; Sterling joined a campaign to find Dawkins a stem cell donor.

In November last year, the Manchester City winger decided to visit the youngster at the University College Hospital in London on his day off.

He played pool with Damary, met his family and brought a smile to those who needed it most.

Four months after his visit, Dawkins sadly lost his battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia but he'll never forget that day. And Sterling will never forget him.

Forget all the negative stuff the press have written about him in the past. Raheem Sterling is doing the absolute business on and off the pitch.

Josh Lawless

Josh is a writer who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.

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