Raheem Sterling: Manchester City and England star to cover costs for Damary Dawkins’ funeral

Sterling became close to the youngster before he died of leukaemia, and also supported the campaign by Dawkins’ family to find a suitable stem cell donor for him.

The 24-year-old former Liverpool player is due to attend the service in Dagenham on Friday.

“Damary was a special young man who touched a lot of lives, including my own. Positive until the end, he was an example to us all,” Sterling said.

Sterling paid tribute to Dawkins by lifting his shirt to reveal a picture of the two of them together following his second goal in England’s 5-0 defeat of Czech Republic last month.

Dawkins’ father has previously discussed the relationship between the player and his son.

“I knew that they used to speak because [Sterling] came down to the hospital, they played pool together and apparently they swapped numbers,” he told the Press Association last month.

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