Raheem Sterling will provide 550 tickets for Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final – to allow pupils at his former school to watch the big match.
The generous Manchester City winger stunned staff at the Etihad Stadium by making the request ahead of their 5.30pm clash with Brightonand Hove Albion under the arch.
Sterling, 24, was raised near Wembley after moving from Jamaica at the age of five and studied at Copland Community School, which was renamed in 2014.
The game will be City’s fourth at Wembley this season, after the Community Shield, Carabao Cup final and their Premier League away fixture against Tottenham.
It is also their first of three games in eight days in London. Consequently, they have sold only 25.000 of their 35.421 ticket allocation and returned about 2.000 of the more expensive tickets, which cost up to £120, to the Football Association.
One insider said: “Raheem wanted to do something for the kids from his old school and approached the club to see what could be done. They are going to come up and meet him and then they are going to watch him in action”.
“It pretty much sums up the kind of guy he is. He hasn’t made a fuss over it and he doesn’t really want attention. It’s just a decent thing to do”.
What Sterling said
“I have a close connection to Ark Elvin Academy having attended the school myself when it was Copeland Community School, so it is great to be able to give these students the chance to watch a game at Wembley”, Sterling said.
“I grew up right next door to the stadium and would dream of one day playing in a cup final or even representing my country there”.