Forward thinking: Man U’s Marcus Rashford makes a pitch to end child hunger
The MBE recipient says football is second nature, but he’s found a new mission as a campaigner
There is no doubting Marcus Rashford’s motivation. “Every single day it shocks me,” the 22-year-old England striker says as he discusses his food poverty campaign and the inequalities that exist. “It’s just mind blowing the amount of people who are suffering and the amount of people who don’t know where to get help. There’s a lot of things that would shock a lot of people if they knew the facts about the issue.”
Spreading the facts and effecting change is Rashford’s mission. It was during lockdown and having suffered a back injury in January that, it appeared, would rule him out of the remainder of Manchester United’s campaign and England’s involvement in Euro 2020 - the tournament was subsequently postponed - that he made a decision. Rashford had raised the issue of poverty before but, shrewdly, this time he decided to make his intervention far more targeted.
“You know, in the beginning, I had a back injury, so I couldn’t do any exercise, couldn’t do any gym work, so I was literally just doing recovery bits, and I’ve always struggled when I don’t have anything to work towards, so I just thought, let me have another go at an issue that I’ve tried to start tackling a few years ago,” he explains. “But we wanted to do it the best way we could, and we took more time in analysing the facts and figures. So at the beginning I had more of an input than I do now. Now it’s about keeping momentum, and as long as things move forward and in the right direction and I can see that the numbers are dropping and more and more families are seeking help, and they don’t feel ashamed to ask for help, they’re the things that make me happy.”..