July 15 – Manchester United and England footballer star Marcus Rashford was one English footballer who covered himself in glory during Coronavirus lockdown campaigning against child poverty and child hunger.
Now, aged 22, he has been recognised alongside other magnificent Man Utd alumni Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton with an honorary degree from The University of Manchester.
From Wythenshawe in Manchester, Rashford put his support behind poverty and food waste charity, FareShare during lockdown. His contribution helped raise £20 million in financial and food donations enabling 3.9 million meals to be distributed to the country’s most vulnerable every week.
He then went a stage further in June, writing open letter to the UK Government detailing his own experience of using food banks and after school clubs when growing up to lobby the UK Government to change policy, extending the food voucher scheme for those children on free school meals throughout the summer holidays.
Rashford’s intervention forced the Government to rethink policy and announce a change within 36 hours.
Now, despite the return of Premier League football, the striker says he will continue to campaign for those most vulnerable across the UK.
Rashford is the youngest ever recipient of an honorary degree from the university. President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, said: “Marcus is an extraordinary young man with an extraordinary talent and drive that stretches well beyond the football field. His work for charity and his high-profile campaign will not only help countless young people across our own city, but across the entire country.
“Our university has social responsibility at its core and this sense of civic pride and duty is something we are proud to share with Marcus.”
Rashford said: “It’s a proud day for myself and my family. When you look at the great names that have been awarded this doctorate in the past, it’s humbling. We still have a long way to go in the fight to combat child poverty in this country but receiving recognition from your city means we are heading in the right direction and that means a lot.”
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