Marcus Rashford, you may know him as footballer who plays for Manchester United and England, however over the last year he has shown us he is so much more than just your average footballer. Time and time again he’s shown everyone he is a man of the people, wanting to push for better, wanting to change young people’s lives.

I’m not the biggest fan of football but I will watch a game here or there, what I am a fan of is celebrities using their influential status for the better. Marcus Rashford has been doing just that and it’s such an amazing thing to see, he is setting an example for young people everywhere and also for his fellow footballers to follow suit. More recently during COVID-19 he has been relentlessly working on helping end child food poverty. In the month of October, he helped businesses who would be providing free meals for those entitled to it during school get the recognition they deserve while also providing publicity for businesses who were willing to help when the Government wasn’t. Following on from this Marcus worked with Food Foundation and created a petition to get the Government to provide a funding package to help alleviate child food poverty. This petition was signed by over 1 million people leading to the Government implementing this and providing those suffering from child food poverty to get the funding they rightly deserve. Due to these outstanding contributions Marcus was awarded an MBE to recognise his work. Marcus has become an ambassador for FareShareUK and since then there has been a huge spike in donations, in 2019 there was £800,000 worth of donations, whereas now in 2020 there are £1.28 Million Donations, since Marcus started fundraising. This includes other celebrities and big brands getting involved to raise money and donate food for the cause, these celebrities and brands include Matt Lucas, who is releasing a Christmas single and donating all proceeds to FareShareUK, Russell Brand who is volunteering in the local food banks delivering food to children in need and McDonalds who have donated over 5 Million meals, continuing to do so until 2021. These are just a few amazing examples that have been influenced by Marcus to make a difference.

Macmillan Children’s Books have recently Tweeted out that they will be publishing a book called “YOU ARE A CHAMPION: Unlock Your Potential, Find Your Voice and Be the BEST You Can Be”, this book is by Marcus Rashford himself and is all about helping those aged 11-16 “how to develop resilience, navigate adversity and discover the unstoppable power of their own voice”. Another step in the right direction for Marcus, he is encouraging the younger generation to never give up and always strive for excellence in everything you do, the book sounds like it’s going to provide a powerful message. Marcus has also created a book club for those who can’t afford books and to allow kids an escape from reality through reading. I think this is an excellent thing to have set up as I feel because of advanced technology reading has become lost.

I really don’t think there is much more you could ask of Marcus as he is constantly pushing the boat out and trying to make the world a better place, but if there’s anything more he can do, just know he will. Through all the bad press he’s gotten over the years, for simply trying to make a change, or buying himself a new home, he never seems to give up hope and won’t stop until he achieves his goals both on and off the pitch.

My Final thoughts
With Marcus Rashford helping children across the UK and managing to keep his incredible form going with Manchester United, this should inspire fellow athletes and celebrities to help raise awareness and make a change to societal issues that are stopping our younger generations to flourish. If there’s one thing I wish more celebrities would do it would be to let their audience know of charities and foundations they have helped out with or donated to, as it releases the stigma and stereotypes that they don’t use their money for good and it also encourages the general public to donate more as many people are extremely influenced by what their favourite celebrities are doing.

Kayla Collins is a final year BSc in Communication, Management and PR student at Ulster University. Find her on Twitter and Linkedin.

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