Manchester United forward, Marcus Rashford has been honoured with MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
This is is following his service to vulnerable children during the COVID-19 lockdown. The 22-year-old England striker campaigned for the government to allow about 1.3 million children to claim free school meal vouchers in England’s summer holidays.
Rashford asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson to extend that scheme and the request was granted.
Reacting to the development, on BBC Breakfast, the forward said he is honoured to be MBE.
“It’s a nice moment for me personally but I feel like I’m still at the beginning of the journey that I set out to try to achieve.
“I think what I would like to do now that I’m in this position is just speak directly to the prime minister and really ask for the vouchers to be extended until at least October half-term because I think that’s what the families need.
“Speaking to them and knowing how much they’ve been helped, and how much it’s going to affect them if they don’t have it, that’s got to be my main focus now – to get that message across,” Rashford.
“What I'd like to do now that I'm in this position is speak directly to the Prime Minister” @MarcusRashford will receive an MBE for services to vulnerable children during Covid, after campaigning for free school meal vouchers over the summer. @sallynugent hears his reaction ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/jzejTOcRLW— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) October 9, 2020
Others hounoured by the Queen include Great North Run founder Brendan Foster, who has received a knighthood. Foster, a Commonwealth Games 10,000m champion competed at three Olympics for Great Britain before beginning a commentary career in 1980.
The Great North Run is now UK’s biggest running event in terms of participation.
Former Wales head coach Warren Gatland and Gareth Thomas have also become CBEs. The duo played for the country in both union and league.
Alun Wyn Jones, England Rugby captain has also been appointed an OBE.
Also made an MBE is three-time British Olympic curler Eve Muirhead. The Scottish became an MBE along with England’s 12-time women’s world snooker champion Reanne Evans and former England cricketer Darren Gough.
The Queen’s Birthday Honours list was originally scheduled to be published in June.
However, the prime minister postponed it to allow nominations of people who played crucial roles during the first months of the coronavirus pandemic.
How Marcus Rashford becomes MBE
After the UK Government imposed a lockdown in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, vouchers were provided to families whose children qualify for free meals, but it had insisted this would not continue into the summer holidays.
This prompted Rashford to write an open letter to MPs. The striker revealed that he had relied on free school meals and food banks while growing up in Wythenshawe, Manchester. He, therefore, called on the government to reverse its decision – which it did shortly after he spoke out.
This gave around 1.3m children in England the opportunity to claim vouchers over the holidays, with the support working out at about £15 a week for each child.
Rashford didn’t stop there. He continued his campaign by establishing a taskforce with some of the UK’s biggest food brands to try to help reduce child food poverty.