Raheem Sterling, the England forward, has been awarded the MBE for services to racial equality in sport amid the continuing row over the national team “taking the knee” before games.

The Manchester City footballer was one of the most vocal supporters of teams making the gesture when it began last summer in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by a US police officer.

It has become one of the key talking points ahead of the Euro 2020 tournament, which begins this weekend, after some England fans started booing the team for continuing with the ritual after other teams, including Scotland, discontinued the practice.

Raheem Sterling MBE takes a knee during the official Euro 2020 photocall  

Credit: Uefa

Sterling, who is part of England’s Euro 2020 squad, led an anti-racism campaign on social media and enlisted world-famous club-mates including Kevin De Bruyne and Vincent Kompany to take part.

Also awarded the MBE is England midfielder and Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, who is recognised for services to football and charity after helping set up a charitable fund called PlayersTogether, for Premier League footballers to contribute to those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

Former England manager Roy Hodgson, who retired as manager of Crystal Palace at the end of the season, is made a CBE for services to sport.

Sue Barker receives a CBE for services to tennis, broadcasting and charity

Credit: Visionhaus /Getty Images 

Sue Barker, the Question of Sport presenter and 1976 French Open winner, receives the CBE for services to tennis, broadcasting and charity.

Kevin Sinfield, director of rugby at Leeds Rhinos, receives an OBE for services to rugby league football.

Queen's Birthday Honours 4

The honours list also recognises figures who have helped raise the profile of women’s sport.

Jayne Haines, chairman of Women in Sport, receives an MBE, as does former Great Britain sprinter Jeanette Kwakye, who now works as a sports broadcaster for the BBC as well as presenting Channel 5’s boxing coverage.

Kevin Sinfield receives an OBE for services to rugby league football

Credit: Dave Howarth /PA

Lisa Wainwright, chief executive of the Sport and Recreation Alliance and former boss of Volleyball England and British Basketball, receives an MBE.

International cyclist Kiera Byland, who competes for Great Britain in the Special Olympics, receives the BEM.

Byland, who has special educational needs, won gold in the 2019 Special Olympics World Games, which is open to children and adults with intellectual disabilities, and is now a health advocate for the GB team.