Pupils at Marcus Rashford’s old primary school are predicting more success on the pitch for the footballer with Euro 2020 joy for England.
Youngsters at Button Lane Primary School in Wythenshawe, Manchester, continue to be inspired by Rashford, who is a regular visitor and is described by staff as “part of the school and the community”.
Rashford, 23, earned widespread praise when he successfully lobbied the Government into a U-turn over its free school meals policy in England during the first coronavirus lockdown, ensuring children in need would receive food over the summer.
Pupils at Button Lane are now hoping the Manchester United forward will play a key role in Sunday’s final against Italy at Wembley.
Year Six pupils Lilly-Belle Millington-Young, Evan Steel, Priya Andrew, Naif Yeasir, Harvey Simpson, Jessica Barnes and Lerone Osbourne have written poems as part of a class project to put into words their feelings about England’s run in the tournament.
Naif, 11, said: “I am very happy because he is my favourite player and I didn’t know who he was until I came to live in England in 2018.”
Lerone, also 11, has taken inspiration from Rashford’s book You Are A Champion following a road accident at Easter.
He said: “Marcus says I am a champion and it has helped me to walk a bit.”
The youngster was given a further boost when the footballer sent a recorded video message on his birthday.
Teaching assistant Anita Goulding said the book had “enlightened” Lerone.
She said: “I remember Marcus as being well behaved in class. He was quiet, a bit shy, and was always smiling.
“He always gives hugs to the teachers when he comes.
“There are times when he has been passing in his car and has popped in. One time he came and didn’t know we were having a junior disco at the time.
“He is part of the school and part of the community.”
Headteacher Emma Roberts said: “He’s an absolute role model to the children, to the staff and to the community. He is doing so many brilliant things. On the pitch he is a fantastic player and off the pitch he is speaking up and standing up for the rights of children.
“It’s important for the children that his face is there for them because he totally inspires them because they know that somebody from their school is able to go on and make a difference to the world and make an impact, which is what we say we want them to do.
“I think we feel like he is part of the school and the community, he hasn’t lost that. He comes in from time to time, sometimes that is unexpected, but when he comes in you can see him relax and he is happy to be in the building.
“He has always got time for the children, he makes them all feel important.”