Date published: Tuesday 16th June 2020 9:54
Marcus Rashford’s former coach has declared the Manchester United forward an “icon” for his work for charitable causes.
Rashford has written an open letter to MPs asking for the government to keep providing free school meals for underprivileged children during the summer.
His plea has since been rejected, although the England striker has vowed to keep fighting for the cause.
It is not the first gesture of its kind that Rashford has made recently, after he raised around £20million for charity FareShare UK in order to provide meals for those in need. He has also spoken out with powerful anti-racism messages.
And Rashford’s former coach, Dave Horrocks, believes the 22-year-old’s initiatives have seen him transcend the nature of being an athlete and made him a role model.
Horrocks, who was Rashford’s first coach at junior side Fletcher Moss Rangers, told Sky Sports: “I think there’s a bigger message, because I think that because of what Marcus has done. And he’s not done it out of his own pocket, he’s not taken that £20m out of his own pocket.
“What he’s done is sent a message out there that we can all do something like this.
“And these kids will be saying, ‘Mum, can I give something? Can I do this? Can I do that?’ Because Marcus has done this.
“I think there’s a far bigger message than just this fact that he’s a Premier League player. I think the message that will go out will be that he is more than just a footballer. He’s an icon now.
“He’s somebody who kids will look up to for good behaviour, good habits, sending the right message.”
Rashford Ballon D’Or prediction
It isn’t just off the pitch where Rashford has been impressing. The striker has thrived for United this season, scoring 14 goals in 22 Premier League appearances.
His form has been that good that teammate Luke Shaw believes he is capable of winning the Ballon D’Or in the future.
“Yeah, for sure [Rashford can win a Ballon d’Or],” Shaw told Manchester United’s official website last week. “He’s improved greatly from when he first came on the scene, not just on the pitch, but off the pitch as well.
“He’s matured so much. He’s really turned into a man and I think everyone’s seen the way he’s conducted himself off the pitch; especially during this pandemic, he’s been unbelievable.
“He’s a massive example to everyone. He’s matured so much and a lot of credit for that goes to him and also to his family, who have kept him very grounded.”
Shaw believes Rashford has grown in confidence this season, which has led to his improved form.
“He’s looked unstoppable at times this season and he’s looked so confident. I haven’t seen that in him before. He was always confident, but not to this level, and he’s matured so much.
“He knows he has the ability to be one of the best and he’s pushing himself all the time to maximise that. There’s no reason why, if he keeps going, keeps pushing himself, that he can’t win it one day.”