At 23 years old, the British player is a true global icon of the game. But beyond his prowess on the ball, he is proving to the world that he is much more than a simple soccer player.
Marcus Rashford is a man of action. Raised in the tough neighborhoods of Manchester, the young international striker has decided to use his fame to fight against food insecurity, which affects one in five children in Great Britain.
I know what it’s like to be hungryMarcus Rashford, The Tmes
Already involved in several actions in favor of the poorest, it is at the time of the 1st confinement that his fight took an unprecedented scale. In March 2020, as the pandemic was spreading exponentially in the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson’s government decided to put an end to the distribution of free meals to underprivileged children, a measure initially intended to offset the closure of school canteens. Outraged by this decision, Marcus Rashford publicly expressed his indignation in an open letter to the government, announcing his intention to finance the meals that had been withdrawn by political decision. The worldwide media buzz was immediate. So much so that, the very next day, Boris Johnson retracted his statement and announced the continuation of the distribution of meals to children.
Far from being convinced of “BoJo’s” sincerity, Marcus Rashford filed a petition in the Parliament, in order to obtain a real plan to fight against child poverty in the United Kingdom. In one week, it was signed by more than 800,000 people. This hardly prevented the parliament from rejecting the proposal and the government from stopping the distribution of free meals to children for a second time. This decision immediately triggered a national solidarity movement. In a few weeks, it raised some 20 million pounds sterling (more than 23 million euros) from a large number of donors from all walks of life, which made it possible to finance 15 facilities for young people in difficulty. Under pressure from public opinion, the government finally came around and announced that the distribution of free meals for poor children would last the duration of the pandemic.
Today, thanks to his commitment, Marcus Rashford has gone beyond his status as a footballer and has become a true example for English youth. He even appears in the European list of “30 under 30”, a ranking of the American magazine Forbes which designates each year the 30 most influential personalities under 30 years old on the continent.