Marcus Rashford’s mother Melanie Maynard has said the Manchester United forward’s motivation to ensure poor children do not go hungry came from his own experiences growing up when she struggled to put food on the table.
Rashford has been at the forefront of a campaign to end child food poverty and successfully lobbied the government to continue providing free school meals during the holidays.
He was awarded an MBE for services to vulnerable children during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester.
“I had three jobs and if I didn’t do that we wouldn’t have been able to cook a pot of food …,” Maynard told BBC Breakfast.
“So Marcus is only telling the story from how he sees it and the words he has been saying come from the bottom of his heart.
“Sometimes it was really bad, I’d rather give the food to the kids than give it to myself, sometimes I didn’t get anything to eat.”
Rashford said his family’s struggles when he was younger had made him more determined to help others.
“All the little struggles and the sacrifices that you made, it helps you appreciate everything 10 times more, so I don’t see it as a weakness,” Rashford said.
“When you come from a place of struggle and pain, a lot of the time it switches and it becomes your drive and motivation.”