Marcus Rashford’s impact now stretches far beyond the football field as the Manchester United and England forward has become a global icon by taking on politicians to fight for an end to child poverty.
In the week of his 23rd birthday, Rashford scored his first career hat-trick in a 5-0 thrashing of RB Leipzig in the Champions League, gained the support of over one million signatures in a petition to try and extend free school meals during half-term holidays and inspired thousands of volunteers across the country to step into the breach when parliament did not intervene.
After his campaign forced a government U-turn over free school meals over the summer holidays, Rashford has formed a taskforce with major food suppliers, which is now helping to provide over seven million meals per week for those in need.
Rashford’s message has been powerful as he went through the difficulties millions face in the economic crisis caused by coronavirus as he relied on the help of friends and neighbours during an impoverished childhood.
The determination to make a difference has proved infectious with major brands, other football clubs and players inspired by the movement.
On Monday, Rashford announced a partnership with fashion brand Burberry that will provide grants to two youth centres he attended as a child, as well as a donation to provide over 200 000 meals.
Marcus Rashford and Burberry have teamed up to support young people around the world! pic.twitter.com/QitHSr3tDQ
— Outlander Magazine (@StreetFashion01) November 2, 2020
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Brighton, Bradford, Luton and Yeovil were among a host of other English clubs to provide meals during half-term week.
England international teammate Reece James has set up a similar project to raise £100 000 for a London food charity by the time he turns 21 on December 8.