Marcus Rashford had been valiant in delivering his best goalscoring season for Manchester United in 2019/20, but for the forward, life always preceded football and Rashford took his valour beyond the pitch to fight far greater battles.
The indefatigable England and Manchester United footballer has now been fittingly honoured for his public services and awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s delayed birthday honours list.
Rashford’s MBE comes in honour of his valiant and dedicated services to children in the United Kingdom during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The 22-year-old has deservedly garnered for himself a hero’s reputation in 2020 in the face of difficult times, standing up unwaveringly to ameliorate the plight of those that needed him when months ago he unflinchingly pushed for a U-turn from the Government to ensure that free school meals would continue to be provided to children in need across the country.
Not letting the endeavour stop there, he has since gone one step further and even secured a link to his food aid programme for children with major supermarkets and food companies alike across the United Kingdom.
Not showing no signs of letting up, Rashford reacted to receiving the honour in a statement across his social media channels, and encouraged the Prime Minister Boris Johnson to extend the voucher scheme that’s already in place.
Rashford has dedicated the honour to his mother.
“I’m incredibly honoured and humbled. As a young black man from Wythenshawe, never did I think I would be accepting an MBE, never mind an MBE at the age of 22.
This is a very special moment for myself and my family, but particularly my mum, who is the real deserving recipient of the honour.
The fight to protect our most vulnerable children is far from over. I would be doing my community, and the families I have met and spoken with, an injustice if I didn’t use this opportunity to respectfully urge the Prime Minister, who recommended me for this honour, to support our children during the October half term with an extension of the voucher scheme, as the furlough scheme comes to an end and we face increased unemployment.
Another sticking plater, but one that will give the parents of millions of children in the UK just one less thing to worry about.
Let’s stand together in saying that no children in the UK should be going to bed hungry. As I have said many times before, no matter your feeling or opinion, not having access to food is NEVER the child’s fault.”
Manchester United have reacted with great pride to Rashford’s recognition, as have many of his compatriots.
“Everyone at Manchester United hugely proud of Marcus for the work he has been doing to tackle food poverty among vulnerable children,” a club spokesman told the club website.
“His campaigning has raised awareness of a crucial issue and made a positive difference and we are delighted to see his efforts being recognised with this honour.”
The Queen’s birthday honours list was originally due to be released in June, however, was delayed to allow time to highlight those who have demonstrated particular impact throughout the trying times imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.
As the saying goes, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.
Marcus Rashford has put words to action in doing just exactly that.