How ex-Portsmouth and Swansea winger Jamal Lowe was turned down by QPR - because of Manchester City's Raheem Sterling

Ex-Pompey favourite Jamal Lowe revealed he was denied an apprenticeship at QPR – because of Raheem Sterling.

Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 12:30 pm
Ex-Pompey winger Jamal Lowe. Picture: Joe Pepler

And the winger still fondly remembers his time at Pompey after making an eye-catching start to Premier League-chasing Swansea.

Lowe’s journey from non-league football to the Championship is well document, especially in these parts.

After being released by Barnet in 2015, he dropped out of the Football League and represented Hemel Hempstead, St Albans City and Hampton & Richmond.

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It was his impressive performances at the latter where he caught the eye of Pompey and joined the club for an undisclosed fee in October 2016.

But things could well have turned out differently in Lowe’s career when he was a teenager.

He was part of QPR's academy but was released at 16 going to Barnet.

And Lowe told it was because the Hoops instead gave a deal to a fledgling Sterling – who’s now starring for Manchester City and England.

Speaking to Swansea's website, Lowe said: ‘I wasn’t originally at Barnet, I was at QPR but I did not get offered a scholarship there,” he recalls.

‘At the time I was there, I was playing left wing and there was another left winger there who was about a year-and-a-half younger than me, and they thought he was going to be the next big thing.

‘It turned out that kid was Raheem Sterling, so I suppose I can’t really say they got it wrong! He got the deal and I didn’t!

‘From there I went to Barnet and got a scholarship and a first-year pro deal, and started to get some games under my belt in League Two.

‘Edgar Davids arrived but, to be honest, he and I did not really see eye to eye. I was not in his plans and I went on loan a few times to teams in non-league.

‘I was excited when he arrived, I was doing well and I was playing. I wanted to learn off him, but it went sideways very quickly. I went from starting most games to sitting on the bench and not coming on. Soon after that I was not in the squad.

‘I played for the under-21s and was scoring regularly but there was no chance. I had to move on from there.’

Lowe enjoyed a fine two-and-a-half year spell at Fratton Park.

He scored 30 goals in 119 appearances, helping Pompey claim the League Two title in 2017 and the Checkatrade Trophy two years later.

And despite playing a key role as the Latics finished 13th in the Championship last season, they were relegated when hit by a 12-point deduction for entering administration.

The 26-year-old has made a sound start in south Wales, bagging twice in eight games as the Swans push for the top flight.

But Lowe will never forget his ‘special days’ at PO4.

He added: ‘I felt unbelievable signing for Portsmouth.

‘I remember when they had been a Premier League club, with so many great players, and they are still a big club with a great fanbase.

‘Here I was, signing for them and moving to them. It was weird for me, but it was an opportunity I was absolutely buzzing for.

‘There were brilliant moments, especially the goals to clinch promotion and the title as they came so soon after I had joined.

‘You dream of being successful and part of moments like that. It’s what I’d always wanted, but it also made me want more.

‘You want to keep improving, to keep going up a level and showing you can handle it. But they were special days.’