Marcus Rashford will become the youngest-ever recipient of an honorary degree from the University of Manchester this summer as a reward for his relentless fight against child poverty.
The Manchester United forward, whose partnership with Fareshare is providing four million food packages to the most vulnerable in society, successfully forced the government to reverse their decision not to extend the free school meals voucher system last month.
The award, which is the highest honour the university can bestow, will be presented later this summer and is also a nod to the 22-year-old’s brilliance on the pitch.
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“It’s a proud day for myself and my family,” said Rashford, who joins the esteemed company of Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton as a recipient.
“When you look at the great names that have been awarded this doctorate in the past, it’s humbling.
“We still have a long way to go in the fight to combat child poverty in this country but receiving recognition from your city means we are heading in the right direction and that means a lot. Thank you to The University of Manchester.”
Rashford, who has 26 goal contributions across all competitions this season, has vowed to continue trying to ensure that no kid in the United Kingdom “has to worry about where their next meal is coming from.”
He has already raised £20m through his collaboration with FareShare.
University of Manchester President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, said: “Marcus is an extraordinary young man with an extraordinary talent and drive that stretches well beyond the football field.
“His work for charity and his high-profile campaign will not only help countless young people across our own city, but across the entire country.
“Our university has social responsibility at its core and this sense of civic pride and duty is something we are proud to share with Marcus. That is why the University is delighted to make Marcus our youngest ever recipient of an honorary degree.”
Rashford used his personal experience of relying on free meals as the fuel behind tackling a problem that hits home. “I would be doing myself, my family and my community an injustice if I didn’t stand here today with my voice and my platform and ask you for help,” he wrote in his decisive open letter to MPs last month.
“Marcus is an exceptional player and an exceptional person,” said a club representative.
“His work with FareShare and his focus on child poverty make him richly deserving of this tremendous honour and everyone at Manchester United is incredibly proud of him.”
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