England ace Raheem Sterling sparks fury by unveiling M16 assault rifle tattoo on his leg

They called for the striker, 23, to be dropped from the England World Cup squad, with one saying: “That tattoo is sick.”

An anti-gun campaigning mum whose son was shot dead said Sterling’s new tattoo is “an absolute disgrace.”

Lucy Cope, 63, of Mothers Against Guns, said it was “sickening” he was showing off the inking to his Instagram followers — many of them impressionable youngsters.

And she called for the 23-year-old Manchester City striker to be dropped from England’s World Cup squad unless he gets rid of it.

She added: “This tattoo is disgusting.

“Raheem should hang his head in shame.

“It’s totally unacceptable.

“We demand he has the tattoo lasered off or covered up with a different tattoo.

“If he refuses he should be dropped from the England team.

Scrapes that dog his career

He had sex with a £3,000-a-night hooker while on a pre-season US tour with Manchester City, it was revealed last year.

And in 2015, The Sun reported he was filmed inhaling nitrous oxide.

Two months later he was caught sucking from a balloon at an Ibiza party. The same year he was also pictured puffing on a shisha pipe.

The FA’s code of conduct demands England players be role models even when not on international duty.

Sterling, a child when his dad was shot dead in Jamaica, shared a picture of the new design on his right leg with his 3.6million Instagram followers.

It was taken as he trained with England in Burton, Staffs.

More than 60 people have been killed in gun and knife murders so far this year in Sterling’s home town of London.

Last night Sterling posted: “When I was 2 my father died from being gunned down to death. I made a promise to myself I would never touch a gun in my life. I shoot with my right foot so it has a deeper meaning.”

M16 factfile

It has a range of 2.2miles and can fire up to 950 rounds a minute.

The AR-15 semi-automatic version has been used in a number of mass shootings in the US.

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