Premier League star Raheem Sterling has launched a scholarship fund in a bid to increase the number of Black British students attending university.

The Chelsea star, who grew up in Neasden and attended Copland School in Wembley, said that he hoped the initiative would be a “game changer”.

The Raheem Sterling Foundation has partnered with the University of Manchester and King’s College London to support 14 students with university scholarships.

Applications will be open to young people in Greater Manchester and Greater London, and four scholarships, two at King’s and two at Manchester, are available for 2023/24.

It comes as High Education Statistics Agency figures showed just 8% of UK domiciled students enrolled in 2021/22 were Black.

Sterling said: “This opportunity will help young people access further education and present them with experiences and opportunities that will enhance their future career prospects.

“I hope this initiative will be a real game changer over the next few years and I am delighted to be working with two of the finest universities in the world.

“I wish the recipients of our funding all the very best and look forward to meeting everyone on campus in Manchester and London later this year.”

For more information on the courses available, eligibility criteria, and application process, please visit the University of Manchester and King’s College London website.

President and vice-chancellor of Manchester University Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell said: "The Raheem Sterling Foundation partnership will give us additional support to enable talented Black students to access higher education, mitigating financial challenges so they are better able to focus on their studies and realise their full potential.

“I believe that scholarships are a vital tool in helping students to access and progress through higher education, which is why we are so proud to partner with Raheem to invest in talented Black students in Greater Manchester.’’

President and principal of King’s College London Professor Shitij Kapur said: Widening participation in higher education makes both King’s and the wider world a better place.

“We are delighted to partner with the Raheem Sterling Foundation to further our work in this area and enable more support for underrepresented students to access higher education, achieve their aspirations and become the change-makers of the future.”