Manchester United Football Club have been nothing short of superb during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Throughout the United stars, the one player that has shone brightest of all, is 22-year-old, Manchester born and bred, Marcus Rashford.
During the past few months of economic and social disruption and despair, Rashford has taken the weight of his community’s vulnerability onto his young shoulders.
The young striker has been a constant beacon of light for the people of Manchester and it wouldn’t be the worst idea to take up an offer from this website to back Rashford to finish next season as the Premier League top scorer.
Rashford’s contributions include raising over £20 million for FareShare, a charitable scheme which has allowed 2.8 million children in the local community to receive free meals.
Rashford’s off-field hard work saw him rewarded with an award of special recognition from the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester.
Wouldn’t normally share these types of things but this certificate is not just for me, it belongs to you all. Each and every one of you that has contributed the few £s you can, you’ve all made a huge difference (1) pic.twitter.com/tyTg3hOKze
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 25, 2020
In an exclusive interview with Stretty News, Rashford has explained why it is so important for him to remain deeply connected to his grass roots community: “I mean the question has a pretty simple response. Without that same community you are talking about there wouldn’t be a Marcus Rashford at Manchester United.
“We struggled growing up, we didn’t have a car to get me to football and people didn’t need to help, but they did. Neighbours offered to take me to training when my mum had to work, they didn’t need to do that. I used to ride the bus through the City Centre and think to myself that one day I’m going to be in a position to help and I will. That has stuck with me.”
The England international has used his platform to encourage supermarket giants Co-Op to team up with him and together continue their work with FareShare.
We asked Rashford what he sees for the future of his charitable work and does he have plans to extend his work beyond the current crisis: “No doubt,” he added. “I have always worked on projects that have been close to home, regardless of the pandemic. With the FareShare project, I reacted to a problem that needed to be addressed quickly. 10-years ago, I would have been one of those kids wondering where my next meal was coming from. I was lucky enough to have an evening meal when I got home, but a lot of kids don’t get that.”
Rashford explained that his time spent on buses as a child and his exposure to Manchester’s homeless problem inspired him to set-up a scheme to provide the homeless with essentials over the Christmas period: “It was during those bus trips I saw how big our homelessness problem was across the city, which pushed me to set up In-the-Box over Christmas.
“Until I’m in a position to work full time on a Foundation, I’ll always look to get involved in projects where I feel I can understand and make a difference.”
Looking ahead to the resumption of the Premier League on June 15, Rashford spoke of his expectations for the United team: “I think coming out of this lockdown we are in a much stronger position than we were going into it. I think we just need to take each game as it comes and not get too ahead of ourselves. We are working hard in training, gelling as a team with players coming back from injury, etc. For me personally I felt I was having my best season to date before the injury hit so now I’m back fully fit I’m determined to push on.”