Bradford City's Zesh Rehman has won the PFA Player in the Community award at the 2010 Football League Awards incorporating FourFourTwo's Top 50 Football League Players.
Zesh received the award at a gala dinner at Grosvenor House, Park Lane on Sunday evening in front of 900 attendees from clubs, sponsors and the football industry.
The quality and depth of the community work undertaken by Zesh has been outstanding, to such an extent that it is hard to summarise everything he has done. Zesh excels in public speaking and has spoken to schools and colleges in and around the Bradford area. In addition, Zesh is an Ambassador for the Club's Princes Trust and Kick It Out projects, and has also entered the Show Racism the Red Card Hall of Fame.
His influence as an Asian footballer is portrayed through such campaigns and helps raise children's aspirations showing children can achieve their dreams, regardless of their race. Zesh himself is clearly aware of what can be achieved, saying "Football is the perfect vehicle to bring people and communities together, it is all about integration."
Football League Awards judge, Sky Sports' Peter Beagrie, said of Zesh; "he is a great communicator, leader and role model. He is a national ambassador, comfortable being charged with the job of uniting a multiracial community."
On collecting the award, Rehman said: "I am very honoured to have won this award, I feel very humbled. But had I not won, I would have continued to work in the community because I believe in it strongly. Hopefully other clubs can start to look at Bradford and use them as a template and mirror what we do in their club.
"For me, football is the way of integrating the mainstream of society and if I want to try and help the next generation whether they're Asian, English or African to get involved in football. Football is the perfect vehicle to make a difference it is followed by everyone and it is an ideal way to get kids to do something with themselves."