1. ITV Report

'Mum was jumping on the sofa': Raheem Sterling's sister on his World Cup goal that wasn't

Sterling's shot in the opening minutes had many thinking England were ahead. Credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

England fans weren't the only ones getting excited by Raheem Sterling's World Cup debut on Saturday, with his family and former teachers telling ITV News how proud they are of the Liverpool youngster's rise to the global stage.

The 19-year-old's competitive debut looked as if it might have had the perfect start when a screaming long-range strike flew past the Italian goalkeeper in the first few minutes.

And, like most of the country, Raheem's family thought it was in - something his sister said prompted his mum to leap up on to their sofa.

Along with his family, one man has more reason to be proud than most.

Sterling's former school coach Paul Lawrence says it was an "unbelievable feeling" to see his former protégé walking out on the pitch in Brazil.

The young Raheem with his Copland teammates and coach Paul Lawrence (right).

Unsurprisingly, he remembers very clearly the day Sterling's older sister brought the young midfielder to play for him while still at primary school.

"Raheem was playing against our year sevens and our year eights, and he ran rings around them," Lawrence said.

The youngster went on to be coached by Lawrence at Copland Community School in Wembley, during which time he also rose through the ranks at Queen's Park Rangers before his big move to Liverpool in 2010.

And while he may have had a mischievous side, Lawrence says Sterling's passion for football kept him through school.

Despite his impressive performance in Manaus, a clamour for Wayne Rooney to return to the middle may see Sterling placed on the wing against Uruguay - something his former coach says will be no problem.

"I used to play him in midfield on the left, and occasionally wide right," Lawrence says.

"I always knew that he would eventually play in that number 10 role, but I must admit I didn't think it would be for another year or two," he said.

Sterling was a precocious talent from a young age.

Wherever he plays, Sterling is proving an inspiration to students in his home borough of Brent, who have witnessed his rise from Liverpool's reserves to an audience of millions in little over two years and may now believe that they can do the same.

"They will see Raheem as an inspiration because he's made it and he's playing in the World Cup at 19 [...] they will always strive to be the best that they can be as well."

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