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Marcus Rashford to become youngest recipient of honorary doctorate from University of Manchester

Manchester United forward recognised for his campaign against child hunger

Marcus Rashford is set to become the youngest recipient of an honorary doctorate from The University of Manchester for his campaign against child poverty and hunger.

The Manchester United and England forward, 22, will follow in the footsteps of United greats Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton in earning a doctorate from the university.

Last month, Rashford forced the UK government to make a U-turn after he wrote an open letter to MPs asking for the reversal of a decision not to award free school meal vouchers to vulnerable children outside term time.

The Wythenshawe-born striker said his family relied on free school meals when he was growing up.

During the coronavirus pandemic, he also teamed up with poverty and food waste charity FareShare to help raise £20 million (Dh92m), which meant 3.9 million meals could be distributed to vulnerable people every week.

Rashford said in a statement: "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.

"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."

The university's 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."

Published: July 15, 2020 01:10 PM

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