Raheem Sterling’s full name is Raheem Shaquille Sterling.
He is an English professional footballer who plays as a winger and attacking midfielder for Premier League club Chelsea and the England national team.
His middle-name Shaquille comes from his grandmother, who was living in America at the time and wanted to name him after Shaquille O’Neal.
Raheem Sterling was born in Jamaican capital Kingston on December 8, 1994, to Jamaican parents.
As at 2022, Sterling is 28 years old.
Sterling moved to London, the capital city of England, at the age of five.
Where did sterling start his career?
Sterling spent six years in the Queen’s Park Rangers academy before switching to Liverpool in February 2010 as a precocious 15-year-old.
Sterling transfer to Manchester City
He was awarded the Golden Boy award in 2014. In July 2015, following a lengthy dispute over a new contract, he was signed by Manchester City.
He went on to help Manchester City win back-to-back Premier League titles in the 2017–18 and 2018–19 seasons.
In the 2018–19 season, he was named to the PFA Premier League Team of the Year and won the PFA Young Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year.
Sterling made his senior debut for England in November 2012 after previously being capped by England youth teams at under-16, under-17, under-19 and under-21 levels.
He was chosen in England’s squads for the FIFA World Cup in 2014, 2018 and 2022, and the UEFA European Championship in 2016 and 2020.
Is Sterling a Christian?
In 2013, citing the influence of his mother, Sterling was quoted as saying he was “not 100 per cent religious but my belief is strong. When the time is right, I will fully be Christian.”
He added that he put his faith in God and that he prays regularly.
Marriage and children
Raheem Sterling’s fiancee’s name is Paige Milian.
The couple has been in a long-term relationship, and Sterling got down on one knee in 2018.
The wedding was originally planned for 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic forced Sterling and Milian to postpone the ceremony.
They first met when Sterling was playing for Queens Park Rangers, prior to his move to Liverpool(opens in new tab) in 2010.
Sterling and Milian have two children together. The England attacker also has another child from a previous relationship.
In 2012, Sterling’s ex-girlfriend Melissa Clarke gave birth to his daughter, Melody Rose.
Thiago Sterling was born in 2017, before Milian gave birth to the couple’s second son, Thai, two years later.
Some rumours claimed Sterling has as many as eight kids, but the footballer has said he would like to meet the individual who started the original rumour.
Arrests and controversy
On 8 August 2013, Sterling was arrested for an alleged common assault on his former girlfriend, a model. He was found not guilty at Liverpool Magistrates Court on 20 September, when the complainant was unable to offer consistent evidence.
A few months earlier, on 20 May 2013, a charge of common assault on a different woman was dropped after a witness failed to turn up to court.
In April 2015, Sterling was photographed by the Sunday Mirror allegedly smoking a shisha pipe, and by The Sun allegedly inhaling nitrous oxide for recreational purposes.
Manager Brendan Rodgers said, “I don’t think it is something you should be doing, it’s as simple as that…Young players make mistakes. As long as they learn from them, that is what is important.”
Why is Sterling popular?
It was as part of Liverpool’s much-vaunted attack in 2013/14, alongside Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, that Sterling’s Premier League career caught light with some big goals in an unlikely title charge.
As well as netting in a comprehensive away win at Tottenham, he also bagged a brace against Arsenal and opened the scoring in a crucial victory over Manchester City, hitting double figures for goals in a season for the first time.
His sparkling form saw him win the Golden Boy award in December 2014.
In July 2015, following a lengthy dispute over a new contract, he was signed by Manchester City in a transfer potentially worth £49 million, the highest transfer fee ever paid for an English player at the time.
On 16 December 2017, Sterling was attacked outside Manchester City’s training ground by a man who used racist language towards him.
Four days later, 29-year-old Karl Anderson, a convicted football hooligan, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated common assault and was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison and a £100 fine.
The Guardian praised Sterling’s resilience and courage in deciding to play only four hours afterwards.
Sterling has been named as one of the 100 most influential Black Britons, with his inclusion in the annual Powerlist in both the 2020 and 2021 editions.
Sterling was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2021 Birthday Honours for services to racial equality in sport.
In November 2021, Sterling launched his own charitable foundation at the Ark Elvin Academy, his former school.
The Raheem Sterling Foundation will ‘educate, empower and inspire young people to become better prepared for the future and to embrace opportunities to achieve greater social mobility.’
Speaking at the launch, Sterling said: “My foundation is built on my experiences, successes and the many challenges I overcame, I now want to help young people achieve and be the best they can be.”
Sterling home attack
On 3 December 2022, his house in Surrey was burgled in an armed raid, although his fiancee and children were present they were unhurt.
As a result, he flew back to the UK from Qatar, while the 2022 FIFA World Cup was underway.