Marcus Rashford has revealed that facing ‘hatred and jealousy’ only spurs him on to be more successful.
The 23-year-old Manchester United footballer spoke about his experiences with racial attitudes, combating hunger as a child and England’s chances at the Euros in a striking cover spread for Men’s Health magazine.
While Marcus has been praised for his public campaigns on the issues of homelessness and child hunger, he also has received his fair share of criticism.
‘They don’t like to see young black people being successful’: Marcus Rashford said facing ‘jealousy and hate’ spurred him on as he posed for a Men’s Health shoot
Explaining that he doesn’t let any naysayers keep him down, Marcus said: ‘There is a lot of jealously and a lot of hate out there. People don’t like to see young black people being successful.
‘I just believe that I’ve found a way to channel it. Like, if people don’t want me to be successful, it just makes me want to be successful even more. It’s nothing to do with what I am doing off the pitch. On the pitch I am a completely different person.’
The striker also spoke about how he managed to stay on the right path as a child, admitting it would have been ‘very easy’ to find himself making some bad choices.
Candid: The 23-year-old Manchester United footballer spoke about his experiences with racial attitudes, combating hunger as a child and England’s chances at the Euros in a striking spread
The striker, who now lives in a £1.5million Cheshire mansion, grew up in a £150,000 terraced council house on the tough Northern Moor estate in Wythenshawe.
He explained: ‘It could have so easily have gone wrong. We would be on our bikes together and you would see some people making a right turn and we knew we didn’t live the way that went… it would have been very easy for them to take that right turn.
‘A lot of people used to offer you money if you just took something for them. My friends and I – we would always say no.’
Looking back: The striker also spoke about how he managed to stay on the right path as a child, admitting it would have been ‘very easy’ to find himself making some bad choices
Marcus has spoken openly about the struggles his family faced growing up in poverty, and how that had an impact on his childhood.
He previously revealed how he is haunted by the memory of his mother Melanie crying herself to sleep as she struggled to provide for her family despite working 14-hour shifts.
Recalling how he would ‘force myself to sleep because I knew there would be a meal the next morning,’ the sport star promoted his new initiative, the Child Food Poverty Task Force.
Marcus formed the task – a coalition of charities and food businesses calling on Government to tackle child hunger.
Charitable: Recalling how he would ‘force myself to sleep because I knew there would be a meal the next morning,’ the star promoted his new initiative, the Child Food Poverty Task Force
He joined forces with chef Tom Kerridge to launch the initiative, who also spoke with Men’s Health about their venture.
Tom explained: ‘There’s a connection between mine and Marcus’s background – single-parent families, mums had two jobs – and we’ve found ourselves in a position where we’re able to help.
‘Marcus has been exceptional over the past year, forming the Child Food Poverty Task Force. Meanwhile, my life is all about food, so it was about working out how we can connect do something long-term, something special.’
Heartbreaking: He previously revealed how he is haunted by the memory of his mother Melanie (pictured) crying herself to sleep as she struggled to provide for her family
Two’s company: Marcus joined forces with chef Tom Kerridge (pictured) to launch the Child Food Poverty Task Forceinitiative, who also spoke with Men’s Health about their venture
More than 1.1 million people signed Marcus’ petition calling for an end to child food poverty after the England and Manchester United forward launched a mission to ensure no child goes hungry.
The petition called for the Government to expand access to free school meals and provide meals and activities during school holidays.
It came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson phoned Marcus to announce a U-turn over providing free meals to disadvantaged children during the Christmas holidays in November.
Optimistic: As well as working on his campaigns, Marcus has continued working on his sporting career, and believes England have a ‘good chance’ at the Euros this summer
Speaking at the time, Marcus said: ‘I very much welcome the steps that have been taken to combat child food poverty in the UK.
‘There is still so much more to do, and my immediate concern is the approximate 1.7 million children who miss out on free school meals, holiday provision and Healthy Start vouchers because their family income isn’t quite low enough, but the intent the Government have shown today is nothing but positive and they should be recognised for that.
Read the full Marcus Rashford and Tom Kerridge interview in the June issue
‘The steps made today will improve the lives of near 1.7 million children in the UK over the next 12 months, and that can only be celebrated.’
As well as working on his campaigns, Marcus has continued working on his sporting career, and believes England have a ‘good chance’ at the Euros this summer.
He told Men’s Health: ‘We’ve got a good chance. The talent and ability in the team is as high as I have seen it.
‘A lot of it is down to self-belief. I was speaking to some of the players and I think the only thing that stopped us last time was entering that element of the unknown.
We hadn’t been that far as a team before and we didn’t know what to expect…I feel like we’ve learnt from those experiences, plus we’ve got a few new talented faces in the squad. We’re looking at a really good balance and you need balance to win trophies.’
Read the full Marcus Rashford and Tom Kerridge interview in the June issue of Men’s Health UK, on sale from 26th May. Also available as a digital edition.
The council house kid who forced the PM to back down
Marcus, pictured as a little boy, and his four siblings were all on free school meals while growing up
Marcus Rashford was hailed as the hero of lockdown after his successful free school meals campaign became yet another unlikely victory for a young footballer who has already defied the odds to become one of England’s top sportsmen.
The star says leaving home aged 11 to join Manchester United’s academy when his single mother Melanie struggled to feed the family has driven his campaign to ensure other children in the UK do not go hungry.
Last year, the England striker forced Boris Johnson into an extraordinary U-turn less than 24 hours after the Prime Minister refused to budge on finding £110million to give free school meals to £1.3million vulnerable children for six weeks over the summer.
Rashford hailed the news at the time, tweeting: ‘I don’t even know what to say. Just look at what we can do when we come together, THIS is England in 2020.’
It capped an incredible lockdown for Marcus, who used the months to recover from a double back fracture while also helping to supply three million meals for children out of school, raising around £20million along with charity FareShare.
Marcus, who earns £200,000-a-week at Man United and lives in a £1.8million mansion with a fleet of luxury cars, has not said how exactly much he has donated himself but admitted he started the fund with ‘£50,000 to £60,000’ of his own money with Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and wealthy individuals handing over millions more.
He grew up in a £150,000 terraced council house on the tough Northern Moor estate in Wythenshawe, where the hit series Shameless was filmed in an area of Manchester that has suffered badly from high crime rates, poverty and drug problems.