Harty on . . . Raheem Sterling, Mason Crane and Rebels

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RAHEEM STERLING’S £49million transfer to Manchester City has, perhaps unkindly, been dubbed by some as the biggest robbery in British history – surpassing the recent safety deposit heist in Hatton Garden.

True, there is no grey area with this one. It’s either going to turn out to be a great piece of business and Sterling will go on to be one of the greatest footballers this country has ever produced, or he will spend more time in the dugout and, eventually, disappear into oblivion or, as it’s now known, the Turkish League.

What is constantly overlooked is the fact that the player, while extremely talented, is barely out of his teens.

He perhaps has not enjoyed the firm family foundations that others in his position have had over the years and has had his ego massaged by agents and advisers who, ultimately, have made a lot of money out of this deal.

If it does go wrong, it’s another endictment of how the beautiful game has been ravaged by greed and non-footballing influences.

So, moving on, and right at the other end of the scale, it’s time to celebrate the achievements of local cricketer, Mason Crane, who made his first-class debut for Hampshire on Friday in the T20 game at the Rose Bowl against Surrey.

He was originally a Thomas A’Becket pupil, before winning a sports scholarship at Lancing College.

Mason, like local footballer, Harrison Reed at Southampton, typifies all that is good, not only in sport but as a role model for the youth of the town.

Having known him and his family for a number of years, I know that what you see is what you get – an honest young man dedicated to his sport.

But he also acknowledges and is eternally grateful for all the support he has received from his parents and his extended family in his quest to become a professional sportsman.

Sussex cricket fans will possibly get the chance to see Mason in action tomorrow night, in the T20 at Hove. Unfortunately, the only downside is he’s playing for the other side, but that’s another story.

Our very own Hardy Kruger (anyone under 35 years of age, try Google) ‘The one that got away’.

Another great night at Woodside Road on Tuesday when the Rebels became the inaugural winners of the Malcolm Gamlen Trophy, beating local rivals Worthing United 3-1 in a very entertaining fixture.

Yet again, it was a decent crowd at this point of pre-season.

Games continue to come, starting tonight (Thursday) with the visit of a Brighton Youth XI to take on Worthing under-18s (7.30pm kick-off).

That is followed on Friday by the under-21s taking on top local intermediate side, Goring CC FC, a club with County League ambitions, which is again a 7.30pm kick-off.

Then there is the three-team tournament on Saturday, involving Worthing, Burgess Hill and Horsham, which will no doubt attract supporters from all three clubs.

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