Neasden teenager Raheem Sterling set to make Liverpool Football Club history

15:56 17 February 2011

Raheem Sterling as a schoolboy

Raheem Sterling as a schoolboy

Archant

Player’s former sports teacher praises the talented ex-Copland School pupil

Raheem Sterling's former school

THE former sports teacher of a Neasden teenager who is set to make football history has recalled the first time he noticed his talents.

Raheem Sterling could be Liverpool Football Club’s youngest ever player at a senior level if he is picked for tonight’s match against Sparta Prague in the Czech Republic.

The talented youth, who is 16 years and 71 days, was born in Jamaica and grew up on the St Raphael’s estate in Neasden.

He attended Copland Community School in Cecil Avenue, Wembley, until last year.

Raheem Sterling playing for Liverpool in the FA Youth Cup match against Southend United on February 14 this year

Paul Lawrence, a sports teacher at the school, said he had spotted Raheem’s talents before he became on of his pupils.

He said: “I was watching a training session taking place on the fields in Copland when I saw him running rings around the other players.

“They were aged 10 and 11 so I presumed he was the same age as them, I was shocked to find out he was only eight.”

By the time Raheem started at Copland he had already been snapped up by Queen’s Park Rangers and was one of their key players in their under 14s team.

Mr Lawrence said: “The fact he had been signed up at such an early age shows how talented he was.

“I’ve seen him score hat tricks in cup finals at the school so anyone with doubts could see how immensely talented he is.”

In addition to teaching him at school, Mr Lawrence also nurtured him during his time with QPR as he is also a coach there.

He said: “One of the things about Raheem is that he is small for his age which proves his talent isn’t because he is big it’s because he is skilled.

“Copland has had many pupils who have gone on to bigger things including Kerrea Gilbert who went to Arsenal, Rhys Williamson who plays at Chrystal Palace and Reece Mitchell who is currently playing for the under 18s team at Chelsea - so the school has got talent.

“I will be watching the match tonight as I hope he does make history and puts Copland as a school on the map.

“No doubt we’ll have football scouts beating down our doors.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
[Photograph by Mr Thant]

Rush hour train services through Streatham Common and Balham are set to be severely disrupted after a person was hit by a train.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Giorgia is slim and short, with medium-length curly black hair [Photograph from Metropolitan Police]

Police are growing increasingly concerned about Giorgia Welch-Adesanya, who has been missing for three weeks.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Narrow boats line the Regent's Canal in Little Venice (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Winter, be gone! Spring is most definitely on its way and these pictures are sure to get you excited about picnics, strolls and finally mooching outside after months of Vitamin D deficiency.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
British Transport Police want to speak to this man after a teenager was hit over the head with a glass bottle

A man was having a friendly chat with a group of strangers on a train from London when, without warning, one of them smashed a glass bottle over his head.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
The collapsed house in Collier Row, east London

An investigation is underway after a house collapsed in Collier Row, east London this morning.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

As the Hogwarts Express opens for business at the Harry Potter Studio Tour, we’ve complied a list of life lessons we learned from the books.

Read more

The park ranger has spoken, and he says the picture is legit.

Read more

The BBC show judge thinks it is only a matter of time until one of the contestants becomes a superstar.

Read more

Promoted content

A look at one of our previous Design Fairs

Chelsea Old Town Hall will be the venue for the renowned Desire Fair from 6-8 March 2015. This stunning mixed media jewellery and silversmithing event where visitors can purchase direct from contemporary designer makers selected from the best in the UK is an event not to be missed.

(Not guaranteed)

Mothers Day is fast approaching, so we’ve rounded up some unusual and beautiful gifts for you to dazzle the most important woman in your life come March 15th.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

A new report is highly critical of local organisations across the county.

The Hollywood actor took on politicians and it was amazing.

Climbers are leaving a big mess on the world’s highest peak.

Quirky London