Raheem Sterling made MBE in Queen's Birthday Honours

Raheem Sterling. Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Raheem Sterling. Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Raheem Sterling has been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to racial equality.

The England player, raised on St Raphael's Estate in Neasden, has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

The 26-year-old Manchester City forward campaigns against racism and discrimination.

Last year he backed protests taking place across the UK following George Floyd's death in America, saying "the only disease right now is the racism that we are fighting".

He told the BBC: "This is the most important thing at this moment in time because this is something that is happening for years and years." 

The 26-year-old will likely be playing for England when the team takes on Croatia at Wembley Stadium on Sunday. 

“Honestly, I can’t wait, man,” Sterling told TalkSport. “I actually can’t wait.

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“I’m playing at Wembley, the team’s playing at Wembley. For me, this is what dreams are made of and I’m just going into this with a lovely mindset.”

For Sterling the tournament is made even more special by the fact so much of it is being held at the national stadium.

He attended Ark when it was called Copland Community School so always had the arch in his sight.

He has a tattoo on his left arm of himself wearing a number 10 shirt looking up at the arch, having grown up nearby dreaming of one day becoming the “king of Wembley”.

“It’s a lovely thing,” Sterling said. “Normally when you come with England you’re travelling, you’re on a plane, you go somewhere.

“It’s moody, you get to a hotel, the hotel’s moody. You’re there, you’ve got football to play, you enjoy your football, you get back to the hotel, it’s boring.

“Coming here, somewhere you’ve been for many years. You know everything about the place and it’s just nice to be on home soil for once and breathing some great British air and the weather’s nice outside.

“And I can’t stop smiling!”