Raheem Sterling to pay for Crystal Palace youth player's funeral
Raheem Sterling is paying for the funeral of Crystal Palace player Damary Dawkins
Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling is set to cover the funeral costs for Crystal Palace youth player Damary Dawkins after the 13-year-old died of leukaemia in March.
Sterling supported a campaign to find a stem cell donor for the youngster, who had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. He did receive a donor in December but relapsed in February according to the appeal page.
Sterling said "Damary was a special young man who touched a lot of lives, including my own," and described Damary as "an example to us all" who was "positive until the end".
The England star, who lifted his shirt to reveal a picture of the two of them together after scoring in England's 5-0 win over the Czech Republic in March, also plans to attend his funeral on Friday.
Damary's father, Tony, said Sterling's celebration was "very, very touching" and explained the relationship the two had.
"I knew they used to speak because [Sterling] came down to the hospital. They played pool together and apparently they swapped numbers," he said.
"I remember when Crystal Palace played Manchester City and they lost - Damary put on his tracksuit with the Crystal Palace badge and took a picture to send to Raheem. They had banter with each other."