QPR academy director Steve Gallen still rues losing Raheem Sterling to Liverpool.

Crowds at QPR Under-18 matches, usually 70-80 strong, swelled to 350-400 watchers, keen to catch a glimpse of Sterling, the 14-year-old wunderkind who was playing several years above.

"I fought like crazy to keep him and I was adamant he wasn't going," Gallen told the Mail on Sunday, "I was very close with him and his mum, who's a lovely lady. But towards the end of his time at QPR, everyone knew he was available.

"Manchester City and Chelsea had watched plenty of times and Arsenal, but in the end only Liverpool and Fulham came in for him."