Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling has disclosed Steven Gerrard back in his Liverpool days was an inspiration on and off the pitch.
The former Liverpool academy player made his professional debut for the Reds in 2012 when Gerrard was club captain.
Since completing a switch to Man City, the 24-year-old has gone from strength-to-strength and currently a contender for this season’s PFA Players’ Player of the Year award.
He has also been a leading figure on and off the pitch fighting racism within the sport.
“Coming through at Liverpool I had people around me like Steven Gerrard that I looked up to,” Sterling said via Sky after receiving the Integrity and Impact award at the BT Sport Industry Awards on Thursday.
“Looking at him and thinking what can I do within myself to be half the person and player he was.
“You take little things and each year and day you try to develop and become better, not just on the field but off it as well.”
Sterling is enjoying a prolific campaign this season, having scored 17 goals and made 12 assists in the league with three games remaining, which City can retain if they win the remaining games.
Manchester City and England star @sterling7 has been awarded The Integrity and Impact Award at the BT Sport Industry Awards 2019 – marking a year in which he used his platform and voice to speak out on a range of social issues. pic.twitter.com/3K6hW8CieJ
— Mark Jefferies (@mirrorjeffers) April 25, 2019