Marcus Rashford gets honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester

He is the youngest ever recipient of an honorary degree

Marcus Rashford will receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester later this summer.

Rashford, a Manchester United and England footballer, is receiving the award, which is the highest honour the University can bestow, “for his remarkable campaign against child poverty off the field and outstanding sporting achievements on the pitch.”

Rashford said: “It’s a proud day for myself and my family. When you look at the great names that have been awarded this doctorate in the past, it’s humbling.”

During lockdown, Rashford, from Wythenshawe, teamed up with the poverty and food waste charity FareShare. The collaboration has led to £20 million raised in financial and food donations enabling 3.9 million meals to be distributed to the country’s most vulnerable every week during the Global COVID-19 pandemic.

Following this, he campaigned for the government to allow about 1.3 million children to claim free school meal vouchers in England’s summer holidays.

During his campaign, Rashford explained his own personal experiences of using foodbanks and afterschool clubs growing up.

Now, despite the return of Premier League football, he says he will continue to campaign for those most vulnerable across the UK.

He said: “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.”

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.”

A spokesperson from Manchester United said to The University: “Marcus is an exceptional player and an exceptional person. 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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