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Raheem Sterling to pay for funeral of Crystal Palace player

Manchester City forward, Raheem Sterling will pay for the funeral of Crystal Palace youth player Damary Dawkins.

Dawkin died in March at the age of 13.

The England international winger supported a campaign to find a suitable stem cell donor for Dawkins, who had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

“Damary was a special young man who touched a lot of lives, including my own,” Sterling told English media.

Sterling will attend the funeral on Friday.

The 24-year-old said Dawkins was “an example to us all” who was “positive until the end”.

Dawkins’ family had set up a GoFundMe page to raise £15,000 to give Damary the “best send off and celebration of life.”

After scoring against Czech Republic in March, Sterling lifted his shirt to reveal a picture of himself and Dawkins of them together.

Damary’s father, Tony, said Sterling’s shirt tribute was “very, very touching.”

“I knew they used to speak because [Sterling] came down to the hospital,” he said.

“They played pool together and apparently they swapped numbers.

“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.”

According to an appeal page, Damary did receive a stem cell match a few days before Christmas but he relapsed in February.

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