Back to their roots - behind the success stories of England stars Sterling and Trippier


They are just two of England's Euro 2020 heroes.

Raheem Sterling is the golden boy - the striker manager Gareth Southgate insisted would come good, who rewarded that confidence with the goals that have taken England to within touching distance of glory.

The other is Kieran Trippier, the full back who was something of a surprise pick for England's opening match but who - in the words of his former PE Teacher - has never let his country down.

Sterling bags England's first against Germany at Wembley Credit: PA Pictures

Sterling, now 26, was born a short walk from Wembley Stadium after his mother Nadine moved to England from Jamaica. At the age of 15, he was spotted by talent scouts from Liverpool and signed for them.

But, too young to live independently, he was cared for in his early years at the Anfield club, by the couple he calls his ''surrogate family'' - Peter and Sandra Reeves.

From the first moment they met him, the sensed he was on the path to stardom.

Peter and Sandra said they were initially worried the young Raheem would not take to the quietness of life in their neighbourhood of Rainhill, just outside Liverpool.

Sandra said: ''Raheem was used to mixing, and I was concerned that the environment we lived in was so quiet - there's nobody about and there's no traffic to speak of, so it was the opposite of where he came from. But he told me one day when he came back that he loved it.''

Peter said the couple had to register as foster parents to care for Raheem, adding: ''He settled in great, right away, from the beginning. The mothers are always the worst. They're always worrying about leaving their young lads with us, but we reassure them.''

GOAL-den boy - Raheem Sterling Credit: PA Pictures

The couple are delighted but far from surprised that he is now one of England manager Gareth Southgate's clear first picks, despite a patchy season for Manchester City.

It seemed Bury-born Kieran Trippier must also have a place in Southgate's charmed circle when the England boss selected him to play out of position at left back in the opening match of the Euros against Croatia.

Trippier is clearly trusted by Englad boss Gareth Southgate Credit: PA Pictures

The defender, though, gave a typically solid display - the sort of gritty show which makes him a favourite of fans at his latest club, Spanish champions Atletico Madrid.

Yet, in his early days at Woodhey High School in Ramsbottom, his former PE teacher Lee Garcka remembers a Trippier who loved to score goals, rather than stop them.

Lee recalls a schoolboy was who could play any sport and loved to lead, while in the classroom he could be ''cheeky'' and share a bit of banter.

But he added: ''It's a bit crazy to think that not too long ago, he was kicking a ball around on this field. We are all amazed and delighted at how well he'd done and it's a credit to him and his family.''