Marcus Rashford has been named the Pride of Britain following his inspirational campaign to feed deprived children over the school holidays.
The Manchester United and England striker has been given a special recognition award for his relentless campaigning to ensure children didn’t go hungry over the summer holidays.
It comes as the footballer made headlines once again this week, after his bid to extend the voucher scheme for school holidays until Easter 2021 was defeated in Parliament.
Despite 322 Conservative MPs voting against the motion, Rashford has vowed to continue his fight to end child food poverty.
The surprise award is one of the highlights of the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Award, in partnership with TSB, which will be shown on ITV next Sunday.
Marcus said simply: “No way!” on receiving his special award.
He added: “Ultimately no kids should miss meals. For me that should be just standard no matter where you come from.
“If we get that as the new normal then we have made a lot of strides forward.”
The 22-year-old, originally from Wythenshawe, dedicated his time in lockdown to fight for 200,000 disadvantaged children who receive free school meals to force Boris Johnson in to a u-turn over plans to end support over the summer.
Rashford also helped raise £20million to feed another three million people, and is continuing to provide a powerful voice for under-privileged families.
“I attended Pride of Britain last year so I was able to see firsthand just how deserving the recipients of the awards are,” Marcus said.
“I am extremely humbled but I’d like to think that I am receiving this award on behalf of all of the incredible people who have selflessly stepped up to support their communities during this pandemic.
“I have met many of them and I am no more deserving than them.
“Parents who have sacrificed everything to feed their children during this challenging time, people who are volunteering at the FareShare food banks day in and day out, people who are fighting to protect our most vulnerable children every minute of the day.
“It is those people who really make me proud to be British and really define us as a United Kingdom.
“So today, I accept this award on behalf of all of those who step up without the need for thanks and accolades. I appreciate every single one of you.”
The England star was surprised by Ashley Banjo, who presented the award to him, after he went to meet a young winner Emmie Narayan-Nicholas in Manchester last month.
The amazing moment when Marcus receives his award is a highlight of the Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards, which will be screened at 9pm on Sunday night on ITV.