Manchester City’s forward Raheem Sterling has received The Integrity and Impact Award at this year’s BT Sport Industry Awards for his role in the fight against racism in football.

The England international was honoured at the awards ceremony held in London on Thursday. The recognition comes a time the winger has become a central figure in highlighting and challenging the racial abuse and lack of diversity prevalent in the sport.

“I was just speaking about my personal experiences, I didn’t expect it to get so much attention, I just wanted to bring it to the attention of my audience on Instagram,” Sterling said as he received the award from his England coach Gareth Southgate.

The 24-year-old signed a manifesto earlier this week where he said clubs should be handed automatic nine-point deductions and ordered to play three games behind closed doors if their supporters indulged in racist behaviour.

He added that he, himself, had been influenced by his own footballing role-models. “Partly what happens when you try to do good things is you set examples for the next generation coming through,” said the player.