The Speaker
Monday, 20 May 2024 – 23:53

Dr Rashford: Footballer Marcus Rashford to receive honorary doctorate from The University of Manchester

Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford is to receive an honorary doctorate from The University of Manchester in recognition of his campaign against child poverty and sporting achievements.

Mr Rashford, 22, will be the youngest ever recipient of an honorary degree from The University of Manchester. 

Last month, Marcus Rashford spent days urging politicians to ensure school pupils can continue to access meal vouchers during the summer. The footballer built a significant campaign on social media and in media interviews, the footballer described his own past experience of relying on free school meals.

The government would usually provide free school meals for some pupils during term time and had introduced a national voucher scheme for these students during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic when schools have been closed. However, the government had originally said the scheme would not be extended for the summer holidays.

On 16 June, the government announced a U-turn, saying it was setting up a Covid Summer Food Fund, meaning children eligible for free school meals in term time in England will get a six-week voucher to use in the summer.

During the Coronavirus lockdown, Mr Rashford has also teamed up with the poverty and food waste charity FareShare, leading to the raising of £20 million in financial and food donations to be distributed to the country’s most vulnerable. 

On the pitch, Rashford has been part of teams that have won the FA Cup, EFL Cup, FA Community Shield and UEFA Europa League. 

President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manchester, 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.”

Mr Rashford is set to receive the honorary doctorate on Wednesday 15 July. The award is the highest honour the University can bestow.

Reacting on social media, Rashford said he was ‘very humbled’.


Photo Credit:: @cfcunofficial via Flickr under licence (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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