The England international forward has continued his campaign to fight child hunger as he is set to be honoured by the Queen with an MBE
Marcus Rashford hopes to speak directly to Prime Minister Boris Johnson about extending the program offering free school meal vouchers, as the Manchester United star prepares to be honoured by the Queen.
Rashford is set to receive an MBE in recognition for his campaign to help vulnerable children during the coronavirus pandemic.
The England forward campaigned to extend free meals for vulnerable children with the government eventually allowing the initiative to continue outside of term time. More recently, Rashford has formed a taskforce with England’s food brand giants to combat child poverty across the country.
Set to be recognised for his services, Rashford told BBC Breakfast that he is honoured but is still hoping to meet with the Prime Minister in an effort to continue helping vulnerable children across the country.
“It’s a nice moment for me personally but I feel like I’m still at the beginning of the journey that I set out to try and achieve,” Rashford said.
“I think what I would like to do now that I’m in this position is just speak directly to the Prime Minister and really ask for the vouchers to be extended until at least until October half term because I think that’s what the families need.
“Speaking to them and knowing how much they’ve been helped and how much it’s going to affect them if they don’t have it, that’s got to be my main focus now to get that message across.”
Throughout his campaign, Rashford has emerged as one of England’s brightest young role models, with many crediting him just as much for his off-the-pitch work as for what he does for Manchester United and England.
The 22-year-old forward admits that, when he was young, he was inspired by the like of Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo but, as he’s grown older, his mother has become his primary role model.
“See my heroes was always just footballers,” he said. “Whenever I was watching TV it would be football, so I didn’t actually have any heroes within the community but not because there wasn’t any there, just because my focus was just on one thing, but, yeah, my heroes was Wayne and Cristiano so they was my two [inspirations]”.
He added: “I’d probably say towards my teenage years […] my role model just became my Mum. I think it’s important to try and listen to people outside of football more than what I’ve done in the past, it’s more things like that [make me] feel like I’m learning every day whether it’s to do with sports or not.”
Rashford’s mother will accompany him to Buckingham Palace to pick up the award, with the forward joking that he would be in “big trouble” if he selected anyone else to come along.
He says the honour is something that neither he nor his mother ever expected, making it even more special.
“She’s just dead happy and it’s obviously a proud moment for her and it’s all just a little bit strange, you know,” he said. “People from where we come from don’t get these type of things so we don’t know how to act or behave but it’s just a proud moment for everyone.”
Rashford is currently with the England squad ahead of Sunday’s Nations League clash with Belgium. Following a meeting with Denmark on Wednesday, he will return to Manchester United ahead of a clash with Newcastle next weekend.