Marcus Rashford awarded MBE for free school meals campaign

9 November 2021, 21:26

By Emma Soteriou

Marcus Rashford was honoured with an MBE for his efforts in helping disadvantaged children, through pushing for free school meals during the pandemic.

The England forward was joined by his mum, Melanie, for the special occasion, who watched on as Prince William gave her son the award.

He later dedicated the MBE to her, vowing there was more to come in his campaign to help disadvantaged children.

The 24-year-old said his motivation was to give the nation's youngsters the things he did not have when growing up, stressing every child deserved an "opportunity".

He most recently formed a child food poverty taskforce, which has linked up with some of the UK's biggest supermarkets and food brands.

Before, he waged the high-profile campaign to persuade the Government to provide free meals to vulnerable youngsters in England throughout the school holidays during the pandemic, forcing Prime Minister Boris Johnson into a u-turn.

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Rashford dedicated the MBE to his mum.
Rashford dedicated the MBE to his mum. Picture: Alamy

Speaking at Windsor Castle, following the ceremony, Rashford said: "It seems like there's a lot going on but for me to put it in the simplest way - I'm trying to give children the things I didn't have when I was kid.

"If I did have, I would have been much better off and had many more options in my life.

Rashford received the MBE for helping disadvantaged children.
Rashford received the MBE for helping disadvantaged children. Picture: Alamy

"I'm just giving them the opportunity and I think they deserve the opportunity - what child doesn't? For me it's a punishment for them not to be getting things like meals or supplies of books.

"And if we can all come together to make these small changes - they are small changes but they become big changes once you see the rewards of it - I see a generation that's coming after me as a very special generation.

"They just need a bit of guidance and pointing in the right direction and what I'm doing is giving them that."

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The event was Prince William's first in-person investiture since the beginning of the pandemic.
The event was Prince William's first in-person investiture since the beginning of the pandemic. Picture: Alamy

Prince William also tweeted his congratulations to the footballer, saying: "Keep continuing the vital work you are doing for vulnerable children across the UK."

He said that he was "pleased to be back" carrying out investitures in person - his first since the pandemic began.