Raheem Sterling sent a letter of solidarity and support to a young Manchester City fan who was racially abused, it was revealed on Wednesday.

The England international was made aware of the youngster's predicament when his grandmother contacted Sterling to say her grandson had been having a 'tough time'.

Pictures of the heartwarming letter were shared widely on social media after it was tweeted at half time of City's 9-0 Carabao Cup thrashing of Burton Albion in which Sterling was an unused substitute.

"Remember to stand tall and be proud of who you are and don't let them take away your courage," Sterling wrote.

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"Keep being you kid. Remember speaking up doesn't always make life easy, but easy never changed anything."

Sterling was the victim of alleged racist abuse at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge last month, an incident that prompted him to issue a statement on racism and the cultural atmosphere that facilitates it.

In an Instagram post, Sterling accused sections of the media of 'fuelling racism' and double standards over its treatment of young black players compared to their white colleagues.

"I just want to say, I am not normally the person to talk a lot but when I think I need my point heard I will speak up," Sterling said.

"Regarding what was said at the Chelsea game, as you can see by my reaction I just had to laugh because I don't expect no better."

American sportswear giant Nike made Sterling the face of a new advert accompanied by the strapline: "Speaking up doesn't always make like easier. But easy never changed anything."

The advert cast Sterling in a similar light to Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback who famously 'took a knee' during the US national anthem in protest at police brutality and the number of unarmed black Americans killed each year.