Manchester City and England forward Raheem Sterling has told a young City fan to “be proud of who you are” after he was racially abused.
Sterling, 24, wrote a letter to the supporter after the boy’s grandmother revealed he had been having a “tough time” because of the abuse.
Sterling has been the victim of abuse himself, the most recent alleged incident coming in a game at Chelsea.
“Stand tall, don’t let them take away your courage,” Sterling wrote.
“You are strong and very brave and your nanna is also very proud of you. Keep being you kid.”
In reaction to the abuse he was subjected to at Stamford Bridge, Sterling said newspapers “fuel racism” by their coverage of young black footballers.
“All I have to say is have a second thought about fair publicity and give all players an equal chance,” he said in December.
In a post on Instagram, Raheem Sterling said he “had to laugh” when he heard the alleged racist remarks during the game because he expects “no better”.
Sterling, who has scored nine goals in the Premier League so far this season, ended his note with more words of support for the Blues fan, along with a signed image of himself.
He said: “Remember speaking up doesn’t always make life easy, but easy never changed anything.”