Marcus Rashford received a “special applause” in England training on Saturday after he was awarded an MBE for his fight against child hunger in the United Kingdom, Gareth Southgate revealed.
It was confirmed on Friday that Rashford had been named on the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to vulnerable children in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Manchester United and England striker successfully lobbied the government to continue its policy of providing free school meals for underprivileged children into the summer months, ensuring vouchers would stay available.
The 22-year-old also partnered with the charity FareShare and assisted in the raising of £20million to help provide free meals amid the pandemic, while he has worked with supermarkets and food brands to create a taskforce focused on the tackling of child food poverty.
In an acceptance statement posted to his social media channels on Friday, Rashford spoke of his pride at the achievement but continued to put pressure on prime minister Boris Johnson to extend the voucher scheme.
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) October 9, 2020
His England team-mates and Southgate applauded him as training started on Saturday, with the manager left astonished by Rashford’s impact and social conscience.
“Firstly, it’s an amazing achievement, it’s wonderful for him and his family for the recognition, but he didn’t start this for recognition,” Southgate said on Saturday.
“He started it because it was something he was affected by and something he cared passionately about and for someone of his age to be able to make the difference he has is phenomenal.
“We are all very proud of him. We gave him a special round of applause this morning because, as a group, we are very close.
“We’ve watched him grow up – I say grow up, he’s still only 22, so… You can only marvel at what he’s achieved and the difference he’s made to kids who will understand and kids who don’t yet understand but will be incredibly grateful in years to come.”