Five facts on Raheem Sterling after he became the most expensive English footballer in history on Tuesday signing for Manchester City from Liverpool FC for A?44million, rising to possibly A?49 million ($76 million, 68 million euro):

Wembley in his blood

Born in Jamaica — he has three siblings — but his mother moved to England when he was five and he grew up in a tough neighbourhood a short walk from Wembley Stadium, a fact which was not lost on him. “I used to ride my bike round this little car park that was by the stadium,” said Sterling. “I used to say to myself, ‘One day, I’d like to play there. Hopefully I could do that,'”

Boy done good

Sterling couldn’t settle at regular school in England so he was sent to a Special school. His mentor there Chris Beschi recognised immediately there was something different about him, although he also feared if not given guidance he could go down the wrong way. “I remember saying to him as a 10-year-old, ‘If you carry on the way you’re going, by the time you’re 17 you’ll either be playing for England or you’ll be in prison’. It was a harsh thing to say and I don’t think it was a defining moment for him, but I definitely felt it was true,” he told the ‘Mail on Sunday’ in 2012. “There wasn’t going to be a middle ground for him. He wasn’t going to be some guy working as a mechanic or a labourer. He was always going to be remarkable.”

Mum’s the word

Sterling may earn himself a lot of negative publicity for his multi-million pound move, having snubbed an excellent contract offer from Liverpool who gave him his break, but off the pitch he is highly regarded as being courteous and civil. This he can put down to his mother Nadine, a nurse at a Jewish Community Centre who has been his guiding light throughout his young life even to the extent of telling him how to play football. “My Mum rules my life – shea s a nightmare at times, but I love her and shea s the main person in my life,” he told the Daily Mirror in 2013. “She has got a very strong personality and thinks shea s the boss! When I get home from training, shea s there, in my face. Shea s there 24/7. I dona t know where she gets her knowledge from. Now she thinks shea s Jose Mourinho!”

Sister Sledge

Not everyone in his family believes he is their footballing god as evidenced by what his elder sister Lakima attested to last year during the World Cup final. “You should see his six-year-old brother Kingston,” Lakima Sterling told The Times. “He can do keepy-ups and everything. He is better than Sterling was at that age. Kingston is the next Messi.”


Family man

Sterling perhaps mindful of how he lacked a father in his youth — he has said he never knew him and any chance of doing so was brutally cut short when he was shot dead in Jamaica four years after his family had moved to England — sees his three-year-old daughter Melody Rose as often as possible as she lives in Liverpool with her mother whom Sterling is no longer with. “She’s at the hide-and-seek stage. She came to a match last season, but cried a the crowds were too much,” he told The Sunday Times in April this year. “She likes coming to training, though. Everyone says what a sweet baby she is.”