01:26PM, Wednesday 21 July 2021
Photo credit: Marlow FC
Marlow's players had an extra spring in their step during last week's pre-season friendly win over Burnham at Bisham Abbey, with England international, and one of the stars of the Euro 2020 finals, Raheem Sterling watching from the sidelines.
The Manchester City star is a good friend of Marlow's Kameron English and, taking a break following England's heart-breaking penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy in the final at Wembley, he asked Kameron if it would be okay for him to come and watch the Blues in pre-season action.
Unsurprisingly, the answer from manager Mark Bartley and the rest of his teammates was a resounding yes, and Sterling watched on as Chris Ovenden scored the only goal of the game from a Devontae Romeo assist.
Speaking this week Bartley joked that it would have been 'nice to put Sterling out on the pitch', and said it was good to see him watching the game, not only as a high-profile international footballer, but also as a prominent figure in society who hasn't been afraid to make a stand for several important causes.
A Marlow FC twitter post with a picture of Sterling was liked 7,379 times and was replied to by the official England twitter account as well as Sterling himself, who said: “Great to see you all, good luck for the season'.
“There were times during the close season when Kameron would go up to Raheem's and they'd do their pre, pre-season workouts together. They're very good, lifelong friends,” said Bartley.
“When he was back and on a break after the Euros, he was speaking to Kam and asked if we minded if he came along. So, we said 'of course not'.
“My view is that he is a leader amongst these players. While he’s the same age as a lot of them at 26, they look up to him and I also thanked him for some of the work he's been doing in the public eye.
“He’s stood up in the face of adversity and been really strong and focused and continued to promote the right message.
“Whilst we were happy to see him because of his footballing exploits, he’s a really big, prominent figure in society today and it was great to have him there.”
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