Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish has spoken candidly about his regret over breaking lockdown rules to visit a friend's house in March.
The 24-year-old was heavily criticised after he crashed his car following the visit, and he donated £150,000 to the Birmingham Children's Hospital as a way of apology.
Speaking to The Guardian Grealish said he felt ashamed following the incident, and admitted he failed to act as a role model.
"I knew straight away that I had to come out and apologise myself, which I wanted to do; I didn’t want to hide behind a club statement," Grealish said.
"I am old enough now and mature enough to know that I’d done wrong. I know I am a footballer but I’m still human and we all make mistakes and straight away I knew I’d made a mistake.
"I’m also a role model as well to a lot of people out there, especially young children who might look up to me.
"So I try to act in a respectable manner but since then I have tried to keep my head down, work hard and do as much charitable work as possible."
Some had been tipping Grealish for an England call-up prior to the incident, and the Villa captain admitted he had been delighted how his season had gone before football was suspended.
"My season has been very good, though I probably didn’t start as I wanted to," he added.
"I got an assist in the second game but apart from that I don’t think I got a goal or an assist for six weeks and that’s what I base my game on, what I do to help the team since then I have just thrived and enjoyed every single moment.
"Without sounding arrogant or big-headed I had no doubts I would come into this league and perform the way I have done."