Sheffield Wednesday star Reda Johnson has been honoured for his work with a special school in the city.
He won the PFA Player in the Community Award for helping youngsters at Norfolk Park School.
The Benin international led an initiative to raise £10,000 for a sensory learning system, which projects images onto floors and doors, donating £5,000 himself, and has made over 100 visits to community events over the last three years.
He made a special connection with a seven-year-old Sophie Hind-Marsh, who has locked-in syndrome and could only move her eyes until his visit when she began to smile.
The award was at a ceremony in London in front of more than 600 guests from clubs, sponsors and the football industry.
Reda said: “I think helping the community is very important. It is part of the job. We play football, we are very happy, football gives us a lot and we have a chance to do a sport we enjoy.
“Sometimes you have to think about other people and try to help those who need it. Sometimes it is not only about money, it is just a smile, you go to see people and try to make their lives a bit easier.”
He was also conscious of problems in Africa. “I help there when I go to Benin.”