Fahd Saleh, a Syrian refugee studying at West Notts College, Mansfield, after being re-settled in the town, was named Inspiration of the Year at the college’s first sports awards.
The 32-year-old hopes to become a football coach in the UK after enjoying a successful career as a professional keeper in his homeland before he and his family were forced to flee due to the conflict and humanitarian crises there.
Fahd, who is studying an NVQ Level 2 Activity Leadership qualification, said: “I’m very happy to win this award.
“I’d like to thank my tutors and my friends in class because when I first came to the college, I didn’t speak very good English — my first language is Arabic — but they have helped me a lot.
“I feel very proud.”
The married father-of-two was unable to attend the awards ceremony, but he was presented with his trophy by tutor Rachael Evans the following day.