22-year-old Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford will be awarded a honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester for his campaign against child poverty in the United Kingdom. In the process, he will become the youngest ever recipient of this honor, which is the highest that the university can award.
In June, Rashford has successfully campaigned for the government to permit an estimated 1.3 million school children from low-income families to claim free school meal vouchers in the summer holidays in England.
While this request was initially rejected by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the massive wave of support that Rashford’s campaign garnered forced the government to reverse its decision.
“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,” he said in a statement, while also admitting that it was a proud moment for him and his family.
In the past, this honor has been bestowed upon two Manchester United greats – Sir Alex Ferguson, considered one of the finest managers ever of the club, and the renowned midfielder Sir Bobby Charlton.
Rashford also led an initiative in collaboration with the FareShare charity to raise donations to help provide food to children during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Marcus is an extraordinary young man with an extraordinary talent and drive that stretches well beyond the football field,” Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Manchester, said.
“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.”
Kudos to Marcus Rashford for this brilliant initiative!