A Hackney-based sculptor created a papier-mâché ode to Raheem Sterling earlier this month, to unite the community during the Euro 2020 final.

Emmely Elgersma, whose studio is based at Ridley Road Market, drove her Sterling Sculpture through Hackney to the Blue Coats pub in Tottenham.

Emmely is also a football coach at Tottenham Hotspurs and felt it was important to celebrate the winger and attacking midfielder for England’s national team and Premier League club Manchester City.

She strapped Sterling’s papier-mâché shirt to the hood of her car and then placed the monument on the pub on the day of the final (July 11), which saw England lose to Italy in a penalty shootout.

Emmely said: “The whole point was to unite the community on the Euro 2020 final, and as you can see from the video everyone was loving it and waving and smiling, especially as there has been so much negative press towards Sterling during the tournament.”

Sterling has called out British tabloid newspapers over the years for splashes criticising the way he spends his money.

On one occasion the Sun’s front page named him “obscene Raheem” for “showing off” his “blinging house” in 2016 - but did not mention he had bought the house for his single mother.

Hackney Gazette: The sculpture of Sterling was then placed proudly on the Bluecoats pub in Tottenham.The sculpture of Sterling was then placed proudly on the Bluecoats pub in Tottenham. (Image: Emmely Elgersma)

In 2018, after he was racially abused in a match against Chelsea, he said some newspapers were complicit in fuelling racism.

In the last fortnight racist abuse levelled at Black England players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka online after they missed their penalties in the Euro 2020 final shootout has been widely condemned by people in Hackney and across the UK.

Hackney Gazette: Hackney sculptor and football coach Emmely Elgersma.Hackney sculptor and football coach Emmely Elgersma. (Image: Oliver Holms © 2019)

Finsbury Park artist Magnus Irvin, who recently wrote and illustrated a book about his experiences with prostate cancer, also paid tribute to the England team on the day of the final with a statue of captain and star striker Harry Kane.

The monument, which Magnus made out of materials on the street before the big match, stood on a tree stump plinth by Pub on the Park in London Fields.

Hackney Gazette: Emmely's ode to Sterling at her studio in Ridley Road Market.Emmely's ode to Sterling at her studio in Ridley Road Market. (Image: Emmely Elgersma)