Sir Alex Ferguson has urged football stars to step up and use their profiles to support Marcus Rashford’s campaign against child hunger, as the pair join forces for a Christmas charity drive.
England striker Rashford, 23, has pushed the government into a pair of U-turns on free school meals during holidays – netting him an MBE.
Now the Manchester United star has said that “incredible” Sir Alex is set to pledge up to £2 million towards the FareShare charity, for which Rashford is an ambassador, as part an appeal in the Times.
The 78-year-old Ferguson grew up in tough conditions in Glasgow – and praised there Rashford has played in highlighting Britain’s inequality.
“You have to be shocked at the number of people who are in need of food,” he said in an interview with the Times. “Marcus has opened the eyes of everyone in Britain. The work he’s done has been fantastic and we’re all so proud of him because of that.
“What Marcus has done is he’s led the way – people will say, ‘That boy he’s only 23 years of age’. People who are in their later ages … should be saying, ‘I can do something’.”
Although Rashford made his debut, aged just 18, three years after Ferguson retired as United manager, the Scot has been hugely impressed.
‘Football hasn’t changed him’
“He should be giving me some advice because what he’s doing at 23 is fantastic for a young person,” Ferguson said. “I’ve no need to tell Marcus because I think there’s humility in the way he lives his life. His feet are on the ground.
“These are great qualities to carry you through life. Football hasn’t changed him. There is a danger in football that it can change people, money can change people, stardom can change people.
“Getting a celebrity position in life can sometimes be a problem because not everyone can carry success well. And at the moment Marcus is doing that very, very well.”