Rashford reveals Sterling inspired him to provide free meals for kids

Marcus Rashford reveals he was inspired by England team-mate Raheem Sterling following Manchester United star’s campaign to end child food poverty with incredible charity work

  • Marcus Rashford was rewarded with an MBE last month following his campaign
  • The Manchester United forward managed to bring about a government U-turn 
  • Raheem Sterling has also emerged as a leading figure in tackling social issues 
  • And Rashford admits Sterling’s attempts for change showed he could do it too 

Marcus Rashford has revealed fellow England star Raheem Sterling inspired him in his campaign to end child poverty, which has seen him rewarded with an MBE.

The 23-year-old Manchester United forward has slogged away tirelessly to ensure poverty-stricken children are given meals during school holidays, leading a campaign for the government to provide free school meals since March.

He was then honoured last month after his efforts resulted in successfully lobbying the government into a U-turn and to continue feeding children in need, while Rashford has teamed up with charity FareShare to help provide free meals.

Marcus Rashford has revealed fellow England star Raheem Sterling (right) inspired him in his campaign to end child poverty

Rashford was honoured with an MBE last month and has teamed up with charity FareShare to help provide free meals

Sterling meanwhile has also emerged as one of sport’s leading members in tackling social issues, becoming a leading voice in the fight against racism after speaking out on the abuse he has received on social media in particular.

The Manchester City forward is also planning to launch a foundation aimed at helping disadvantaged young people, and speaking in the first episode of the FA’s Black, England and Proud series, Rashford said Sterling’s attempts to bring about change made him realise what could be done.

Asked who his football inspirations are, Rashford said: ‘The most recent one was probably Raheem when he started speaking about the issues that he has faced. 

Sterling meanwhile has been a leading voice in football on social issues such as racism

‘For me, Raheem showed me if you’re not happy about something say it and make people aware of it. It’s not a crime to tell people what you think, it’s probably the biggest thing that sparked change for me.’

The duo have both been called up as part of Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad for matches against the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Iceland.

They are therefore likely to play for their country together again more than a year on from England’s 6-0 win over Bulgaria – where the game had to be halted twice due to racist chanting.

England decided among themselves to finish the game, but Rashford insisted that could only be done due to the bond the squad has among themselves which has been brought about by Southgate.

The duo have been called up to the latest England squad more than a year on from the Bulgaria game in European qualifiers

The game had to be stopped twice due to racist chanting and Sterling spoke out against it

‘Since Gareth has come in we have done a lot of work off the pitch, with people coming from different communities – these are the best players in England but everyone is from different places,’ Rashford added.

‘He found a way to bring us all together but it was natural, it wasn’t forced and no-one felt forced to speak about things they don’t want to. And when situations have occurred we have managed to just deal with it but we didn’t deal with it as individuals.

‘I know some players in the past I have spoken to on racist issues they [have had to] deal with it themselves. The way that we have dealt with situations in recent times, it’s been amazing, literally everyone together.

‘The game in Bulgaria [the racist abuse] was literally happening from the beginning of the game. I think one of the main reasons why he had the strength to carry on and just ignore it and play our football was because of that bond.’

And Rashford (left) believes the game was only completed due to Gareth Southgate (right) bringing his England squad together

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