Hello United fans…
Earlier this week in my usual edition of United Uncut, we looked at Marcus Rashford’s brilliant charity work with FareShare UK during lockdown — which has raised around £20m to supply three million meals to vulnerable people…
Then, on Monday, our boy-wonder penned an open letter to MPs demanding a change in policy to extend the children’s food voucher scheme into the summer holidays; drawing on his own experiences of relying on free school meals and food banks growing up.
Just a day later prime minister Boris Johnson was forced into a U-turn over providing food vouchers for some of England’s poorest families thanks to Rashford’s campaign in an unprecedented moment.
Reacting to the news, Rashford wrote on Twitter: “I don’t even know what to say. Just look at what we can do when we come together, THIS is England in 2020.”
No footballer in the Premier League, to my knowledge, has managed a feat of this magnitude; it is truly remarkable, it is far-reaching, it is national news (and not just related to football) and as a United fan it makes me extremely proud.
We at Dream Team — much like everyone else — have been highly impressed by Rashford, the incredible work he’s done and his unifying force that transcends sport, football, and football rivalry.
THERE’S ONLY ONE DANIEL RASHORD
Rashford’s become a household name across the UK; with his positive efforts far outweighing his talent on a football pitch and spreading his good name across the TV screens of millions. But it seems one man still can’t get the boy’s name right…
Speaking to Sky News on Wednesday morning, UK health secretary Matt Hancock — who you may remember demanded Premier League players ‘play their part’ during the early weeks of the pandemic — denied the government had made an embarrassing U-turn, before praising “Daniel Rashford”.
He said: “Righty-ho, I will tell you what happened. The prime minister talked to Daniel Rashford, he considered it and made his decision – I think it’s terrific.”
The minister later told radio station LBC his child’s fondness for the Harry Potter series may have been to blame for the slip and that “maybe I had Harry Potter on the mind”. For those of you still confused, the character was played by Daniel Radcliffe in the film adaptions of the books.
For what it’s worth, Rashford took the gaffe in good humour, responding on Twitter by saying “I’ve been called much worse over the last couple of days!”
I SPY SPOTY
Rashy is now the joint-favourite to win the 2020 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award following his charity effort.
Our striker has been awarded a special recognition award from the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester (yes, that’s really a thing), Eamonn O’Neal, for “outstanding activity and contribution to the community”.
And now it looks as though our 22-year-old will be high up on the billing of the Sports Personality of the Year award shortlist, with the latest odds from bookmakers showing him as the joint-favourite for the prize at around 6/4, along with boxer Tyson Fury, ahead of the likes of Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and Formula One world champ Lewis Hamilton.
Rashford’s odds were previously as long as 150/1, while they were cut down to 80/1 by the start of June.
The award is traditionally voted for by the public via phone and online from a pre-determined shortlist on the night of the annual ceremony held in December — so you know what to do folks!
WHAT THEY SAID
Gary Lineker: “A young footballer shouldn’t have to be imploring our government to do this, but it’s great that he is. What a fine young man.”
Dan Walker: “Imagine how proud Marcus Rashford’s mum must be right now. Melanie Rashford’s son has used his platform to improve the lot of over a million children in England this summer… children who were just like him a decade ago.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: “He’s obviously a top footballer but also a fantastic human being – a future leader, a future captain, maybe, of England.”
David Beckham: “Congratulations Marcus, what an amazing achievement to win this fight for kids. You should be so proud and will have inspired many others to use their voices and stand up for the things they care about.”
Man City: “Fantastic work, Marcus Rashford. Making Manchester proud.”