Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has become the youngest recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester for his campaign against child poverty, the Premier League club said Friday.
The British international gained widespread acclaim after successfully campaigning for the provision of school food stamps during the summer holidays in Britain, revealing that he relied on such support as a boy.
23-year-old Rashford joins club greats Alex Ferguson and Bobby Charlton in receiving the honorary doctorate, the university’s highest award, reports Reuters.
“Being here in the presence of a great like Sir Alex and those who have played an important role in my journey to where I am today is very special. I appreciate all of you taking the time today,” Rashford said at a ceremony at ‘Old Trafford.
“I am here to receive my honorary doctorate for my work on child poverty. Yesterday, millions of families across the UK lost a lifeline and a means to stay afloat,” he added, referring to the government. of the UK which ended a temporary £ 20 ($ 27) increase in weekly benefits to support the poorest families in the country.
“A move that could see child poverty rise to 1 in 3 children. For this reason, today is bittersweet. It is time for representatives to enter communities like mine. It is time for them to see firsthand the true extent of the struggle.
“COVID-19 can no longer be used as an excuse.”
Rashford had helped raise around £ 20 million with the fareshare UK charity to provide meals to families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initial announcement of the award was made in July 2020, but the in-person ceremony was delayed due to the pandemic.