Marcus Rashford is set to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester after becoming one of the most influential footballers of all time by his causing a government U-turn and ensuring free food vouchers for the poorest families over the summer.
The University of Manchester will award Rashford after his “remarkable campaign against child poverty”, with the 22-year-old set to become the youngest-ever recipient of the award ever.
Rashford grew up in Wythenshawe, south Manchester, and will be handed over the honour in a ceremony this summer. The award, which also recognises his “outstanding sporting achievements", has been worn by illustrious figures associated with the city including Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Charlton and Vincent Kompany.
Speaking about the honour, Rashford said: “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.”
Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, the university president and vice-chancellor, 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.”
A Manchester United spokesperson said: “Marcus is an exceptional player and an exceptional person. His work with FareShare and his focus on child poverty make him richly deserving of this tremendous honour and everyone at Manchester United is incredibly proud of him.”