The Story Of Raheem Sterling's Inspirational Journey To The Top Needs To Be Heard
"So can I trust you? Can I tell you my story, and will you really listen? If you read certain papers, maybe you already think you know me. Maybe you think you know my story, and what I care about. But do you really?"
Raheem Sterling shared his incredible journey to the top for The Players Tribune earlier this year, and it's a truly inspired read.
The whole piece is so powerful, with Sterling detailing how his father's murder when the Manchester City star was just two years old shaped his entire life, being inspired by the building of Wembley Stadium and watching it from his back garden.
He goes on to explain how football proved to be his ultimate escape and allowed him to look after his family
[Thread] a selection of times when our national press have chosen to run stories on Raheem Sterling.- Adam Keyworth (@adamkeyworth) May 28, 2018
1. The one where Raheem was 'tired'. pic.twitter.com/6K3cHu6r7T
As you can see in the above tweet, certain tabloids have done their very best to create this image that Sterling is this flash, cocky footballer.
But in this piece of writing, Sterling tells his story in his own words and addresses the negative coverage he has received from some sections of the media, in particular this weird obsession that he's all about showing off.
That is not the case.
You'll remember that he was given grief for buying his mum a new house after a disappointing Euro 2016 but here the 23-year old fires back in superb fashion, revealing that he used to get up at 5am as a youngster to help his mother clean toilets.
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"You know, it's sad that I even have to say this, but I'm going to say it anyway," he says in The Players' Tribune.
"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.
"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."
Sterling's last few lines of the in-depth blog posts are particularly poignant and serves as a message to those who grew up like he did.
"If you grew up the same way I grew up, don't listen to what certain tabloids want to tell you," he writes.
"They just want to steal your joy. They just want to pull you down. I'm telling you right now, England is still a place where a naughty boy who comes from nothing can live his dream."
As a boy, @sterling7 would wake up at 5AM to help his mother clean toilets at a hotel in Stonebridge.- The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) June 22, 2018
He shares how his humble beginnings shaped the man and footballer he is today. #WC32 https://t.co/JizZdSBMX1
To quote a Drake lyric, Raheem started from the bottom, now he's here.
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