Raheem Sterling pays tribute to Crystal Palace fan Damary Dawkins during England rout

Raheem Sterling paid tribute to 13-year-old Damary Dawkins who sadly passed away last weekend (Getty Images)

Raheem Sterling paid a touching tribute to 13-year-old Damary Dawkins during England’s 5-0 win over the Czech Republic after he tragically died on Sunday.

Damary had been battling against acute lymphoblastic leukaemia for the past four years and Sterling, along with Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson and the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT), had launched an attempt to find him a suitable stem cell donor.

Although Damary had a transplant just before Christmas, he suffered a relapse and sadly passed away last weekend.

Sterling, who scored a hat-trick as England kicked off their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign in style, lifted his shirt after scoring his second of the night to reveal a picture of himself with Damary alongside the message ‘may your soul rest in peace’.

Sterling helped himself to a hat-trick as England thrashed the Czech Republic (Getty Images)

Explaining his tribute to ITV after the game, Sterling said: ‘Damary was a kid I was trying to help and we thought we’d found a donor.

‘Sadly, it didn’t match and he sadly passed away so I thought I had to do something to give his family something to smile about.’

Damary was a member of Crystal Palace’s elite player development centre and harboured ambitions of playing football professionally.

Speaking after Damary passed away, his father Anthony said: ‘I would like to say thank you to Crystal Palace, Roy Hodgson especially, who showed so much love and support.

‘We’d also like to thank Raheem Sterling, blood cancer charity DKMS and the ACLT, who have been magnificent and are still helping us go through the trauma.’


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