Marcus Rashford mural in Withington filled with supportive messages after vandalism

There has been an outpouring of support over the defaced mural

A mural dedicated to Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford in Withington has been vandalised following England’s defeat to Italy in the final of the Euro’s 2020.

The mural, which is located on the side of the Coffee House Cafe on Copson Street, was covered in messages of abuse towards the footballing star after he missed a penalty during the pivotal match.

Manchester-born Rashford received racially abusive messages across social media following the result of the game along with fellow players Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho who all missed their penalties.

A number of swear words were sprawled across the Withington landmark less than a day after the game.

Despite this, within hours of it being defaced, the local community pulled together to instead cover the distasteful messages with ones of love and support for Rashford with some even declaring him a “hero”.

Some of the messages of support left (Credit: Alex Otway)

Since Monday, residents from the surrounding Manchester areas and further afar have been visiting the huge artwork leaving hand-written letters, cards and notes along with England flags to show the local pride surrounding Rashford.

Rashford responded in a social media post saying: “Seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears”.

He added: “The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up.

“I’m Marcus Rashford, 23 year old, black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester.

“If I have nothing else I have that”.

Along with the messages of support over the graffiti, people have taken to social media to extend their support for Rashford with one user saying Rashford should be “knighted and celebrated” for his achievements.

The Withington area is now awash with support with the street outside the mural being filled with locals dancing and celebrating in honour of Rashford.

The mural was created by street artist Akse in collaboration with Withington Walls based on a photograph of Rashford taken by Daniel Cheetham.

Akse has begun to repaint over the graffiti on the mural that he created last November following Rashford’s philanthropic efforts against child food poverty.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham described the mural defacement as a “despicable, shameful act”.

Feature picture credit: Megan Cumley

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