#LiveSTUSH #Merseyside #TeamJamaica

Kenny Dalglish was shifting uncomfortably as he stood on the touchline at Finch Farm, Everton’s training ground. Trepidation was writ large over his weathered face. The object of his attention was a tiny, fragile-looking 15-year-old swamped in a red shirt.

Raheem Shaquille Sterling was about to make his debut in a Merseyside derby – but against Everton’s Under 18s. Ninety dazzling minutes later, Dalglish nudged Liverpool’s academy director Frank McParland and said with a grin: ‘I think we’ve got a player there.’

One month earlier, Liverpool had bought Sterling from Queens Park Rangers for £450,000, the first time the club had paid such a massive fee for a player so young.

He was naturally strong and, as he settled in at the club, his stamina took Liverpool staff by surprise. In one test, head of sports medicine Peter Brukner monitored Sterling’s performance during an FA Youth Cup tie that went to extra time.

He discovered Sterling’s running intensity was the same in the 118th minute as it had been in the third, a feat Brukner considered ‘incredible’. In comparison with the performance of then first-team striker Fernando Torres, staff said the figures were like ‘night and day’.

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