Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Critics Who Accuse Me of Being Too Bling Are Just Trying to Steal My Joy, Claims Sterling as He Tells His Rags-to-Riches Tale

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Critics Who Accuse Me of Being Too Bling Are Just Trying to Steal My Joy, Claims Sterling as He Tells His Rags-to-Riches Tale

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Johnson

RAHEEM STERLING today launched a passionate defence of his character and insisted he has been left mystified at the constant criticism over the way he spends his money.

Sterling, who is set to be named on the bench for England's game against Panama on Sunday, has always found himself under intense public scrutiny.

The Manchester City forward has consistently made headlines for the amount of money he has spent, including buying houses for both his mother and sister.

On the eve of the World Cup, he also faced a backlash over a tattoo of an assault rifle on his right leg.

"It's sad that I even have to say this, but I'm going to say it anyway. There's a perception in certain parts of the media that I love 'bling', I love diamonds, I love to show off," said the 23-yearold.

"I really don't understand where that comes from. When I bought my mum a house, it was unbelievable what some people were writing. I think it's really sad that people do that. They hate what they don't even know.

"A few years ago, I would let it get to me. I'd be saying to my mum, 'Why are they picking on me?' But now, as long as my mum and my sister and my kids don't have any stress, I'm good.

"If people want to write about my mum's bathroom in her house, all I have to tell you is that 15 years ago we were cleaning toilets in Stonebridge (Wembley) and getting breakfast out of the vending machine.

"If anybody deserves to be happy, it's my mum. She came to this country with nothing and put herself through [college] by cleaning bathrooms and changing bed sheets. Now she's the director of a nursing home.

"If you grew up the same way I grew up, don't listen to what certain [people] want to tell you. They just want to steal your joy. They just want to pull you down."

In an article in The Players' Tribune, Sterling revealed how his mother, Nadine, persuaded him to join QPR as a youngster instead of Arsenal. …

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