England hero Raheem Sterling in goal tribute to Dagenham schoolboy Damary Dawkins
PUBLISHED: 22:11 22 March 2019 | UPDATED: 22:15 22 March 2019
Hat-trick hero Raheem Sterling dedicated his second England goal tonight to Dagenham schoolboy Damary Dawkins who died on Sunday after a long battle with leukaemia.
Sterling’s second goal and England’s third on the 62 minute in the Euro 2020 qualifier against the Czech Republic at Wembley saw him charge away to celebrate, lifting his England shirt to reveal another t-shirt paying tribute to the 13-year-old Sydney Russell School pupil.
England went on to win 5-0 with Sterling hitting a hat-trick on 68 minutes. He opened the scoring with England’s first goal on the 24th minute.
Damary was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), a type of blood cancer in 2014 and after undergoing chemotherapy treatment medics said he needed a transplant.
None of his family were a match so campaign #match4damary was launched by charity African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT) to find a stem cell donor.
Tragically, despite a match being found in the US and Damary undergoing the transplant he passed away on Sunday - six weeks after his 13th birthday.
His story made national headlines after Manchester City and England footballer Raheem Sterling tweeted about his plight and visited him in Great Ormond Street hospital.
The teen also gained the support of Premier League football club Crystal Palace, where he was a member of the elite development squad.
England manager Gareth Southgate said Sterling’s performance on the night was “brilliant” and that he had been “electric” all night.
A crowd fundraising page has been launched by a close friend of Damary’s parents Tony and Nadine to pay for his funeral as they had to take a considerable amout of time off work during their son’s illness.
To make a donation visit gofundme.com/damary-dawkins-campaign.