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Sterling pays for 550 kids to attend FA Cup semi-final

GIVING BACK: Raheem Sterling

RAHEEM STERLING has paid for 550 tickets so that children from his former secondary school can attend this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final.

The Manchester City star has donated the tickets to Ark Elvin Academy, so that pupils can watch his team play Brighton and Hove Albion at Wembley on Saturday, April 6.

The 24-year-old has also paid for the students’ travel to and from the game.

Pupils from the school, which was named Copland Community School when Sterling studied there, met with Sterling on Thursday at Manchester City’s Stadium.

In a tweet, the school thanked its “most famous old boy” for his “generous donation”.

A high proportion of the pupils at Ark Elvin Academy come from minority ethnic backgrounds and more than 50 languages are spoken at the school.

Sterling, who came to the UK from Jamaica aged 5, grew up close to the school in Brent, the area he has also sought to open an academy.

“To know he still thinks about the community he came from despite how his life has changed is really powerful for us.

“The vast majority of our pupils have never been inside Wembley, let alone seen such a big game with one of our old boys playing,” The Guardian reported Rebecca Curtis, the principal of the academy said.

In recent months, Sterling has been one of football’s leading voices in the discussion around tackling racism in the sport.

The England player, who has been subject to racist abuse himself, has highlighted how the negative portrayals of black players in the media fuel racism and called on football bosses to take greater action to address incidents in the sport.

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