Sir Alex Ferguson has praised the efforts of Marcus Rashford as he teamed up with the Manchester United forward to tackle child food poverty.
Rashford was awarded an MBE for his recent campaigning – which also saw the government twice make a U-turn on providing free school meals during holidays. Now the 23-year-old has said the former United manager Ferguson is set to pledge up to £2million towards the FareShare charity for which Rashford is an ambassador.
An appeal in the Times is aiming to raise funds. Rashford said that Ferguson, alongside Sir Michael Moritz, will match donations up to that amount, and described the news as “incredible”.
Ferguson, 78, grew up in Glasgow in tough conditions and believes Rashford has done a great job in highlighting the plight facing families across Britain.
“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’.”
Rashford made his United debut as an 18-year-old, three years after the former manager retired. But he has now left a mark on Ferguson, who won 13 Premier League titles during his 25-year reign, off the field.
“He should be giving me some advice because what he’s doing at 23 is fantastic for a young person,” added Ferguson. “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.”