Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hailed Marcus Rashford for the way he has campaigned for positive change far beyond the football pitch, having persuaded the government to provide meal vouchers during the school holidays for children in struggling families.
Thanks to Rashford’s efforts, the government announced a £120m summer food fund this week that will ensure 1.3m children, who might get their only proper meal of the day at school, will not go hungry while schools are closed for the summer.
Rashford, who began the lockdown period by helping food distribution charity FareShare raise £20m, has transcended football rivalry over the past few days, while his own manager has spoken glowingly about the 22-year-old.
“Marcus is such a top, top human being and he's brought his own experiences as a kid into this conversation and changed the lives of so many kids,” Solskjaer told the media – via ManUtd.com.
The Norwegian referred to Rashford having already captained United this season, while noting that his ‘human qualities’ are a ‘main attribute’ needed to thrive as a player at Old Trafford.
“Marcus has always been a great human being,” Solskjaer added. “Coming up through the academy, I think the club recognised that early on and gave him chances. Of course, we saw the talent but you need to be a really good human being as well to come all the way through that.
“He's changed the lives of so many kids this summer which is more important than any game of football that he would probably play.”
What has struck many people about Rashford is that at only 22 years of age he has the maturity and motivation to stand up as a voice for those who are often not heard.
“Me at 22, I wouldn't be in a position to effect a change like this. I don't think Marcus is thinking about this politically or in any other way than helping people and helping kids,” Solskjaer said.