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Raheem Sterling buys 550 tickets for pupils at his former Wembley school to watch Man City's FA semi-final match

PUBLISHED: 14:49 04 April 2019

Raheem Sterling. Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Raheem Sterling. Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire

PA Wire/PA Images

Raheem Sterling has paid for 550 tickets to allow pupils at his former school in Wembley a chance to attend an FA Cup semi-final match in Wembley Stadium.

The Manchester City mid-fielder has invited pupils from Ark Elvin Academy to watch his club’s game against Brighton and Hove Albion this Saturday.

The 24-year-old, who also plays for England, donated his own cash for the tickets and any transport costs.

Ark Elvin principal Becky Curtis said: “Isn’t he amazing? It’s incredible, such a lovely gift. Our pupils here idolise him and he’s such a great role model for them.

“We’ve been inundated with pupils wanting to go, so we’ve given out raffle tickets and we’re going to pull them out of a hat this afternoon.

“We’re going to have some very excited children and their families watching the game on Saturday.”

Raheem moved to England from Jamaica as a youngster. He was brought up on the St Raphael’s estate in Stonebridge and went to Copland Community School, which was renamed Ark Elvin Academy in 2014.

He joined Queen’s Park Rangers as a schoolboy before moving on to Liverpool aged 16 and then signed to Manchester City in 2015.

Ten pupils from the Cecil Avenue school have travelled up to Manchester City complex today to meet Raheem and watch him train.

Some 92 percent of the 935 students at Ark Elvin are of minority ethnic origin, 36pc qualify for free school meals, and more than 50 different languages are spoken by pupils.

Ms Curtis added: “It’s a lovely opportunity and we massively appreciate it. Our families are really, really going to enjoy the chance of seeing a semi final match in Wembley stadium with our own old boys.

“Many pupils live in the shadow of stadium and don’t have a chance to watch a game in it.”

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