Marcus Rashford reveals Man United allowed him into their academy a year early 1

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Marcus Rashford has revealed Manchester United took him into their academy a year earlier than normal because his mum struggled to put food on the table.

Marcus Rashford reveals Man United allowed him into their academy a year early 2

As the England star asks the Government to keep providing free meals for vulnerable children during the school holidays in a heart-felt letter, he has opened up on his own experiences growing up.

Rashford has helped raise over £20million during the coronavirus crisis to feed three million kids a week across Britain through charity FareShare.

Marcus Rashford reveals Man United allowed him into their academy a year early 3

Marcus Rashford reveals Man United allowed him into their academy a year early 4

Marcus Rashford reveals Man United allowed him into their academy a year early 5

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Rashford said United made an exception to their rules to allow him into their academy programmes aged 11 rather than 12 after his mum Melanie explained their tough home situation.

He said: ‘My mum was a single parent, she had five kids all living in the same house. The programme that I started at 11 years old, you’re supposed to start it at 12 years old.

‘It basically gives you accommodation closer to the training facilities and a new school and she worked that hard to push it forward because she knew that was a step I needed to take.

‘I needed to be eating the right food as I was growing, I needed to be close to my team-mates, my new school and my new school friends. She made that decision when I was 11 years old and United allowed it.

‘That was the reason I ended up going at a younger age to the others, it was to help my mum with her situation and also get me out of the situation were were in.

‘So there is always a big element of sacrifice to get to the top level and that’s the one we had to make.’

Marcus Rashford reveals Man United allowed him into their academy a year early 6

Marcus Rashford reveals Man United allowed him into their academy a year early 7

Rashford, 22, described how his mum would have to plan her kids’ meals for the week while working to a tight food budget during his upbringing in Wythenshawe, Manchester.

He said: ‘My mum, she did the best she could, we used to go to a shop called Pound World and everything was under a pound.

‘We would schedule out the week, we would get seven yoghurts and you could have one yoghurt a day and so on. She did the best she could within the circumstances.

‘There are some families out there, like mine, that have four or five kids and it is literally impossible for her to take control of the situation.

‘This is all going on at a time when kids should be concentrating on school work and stuff like that.

‘It is crazy to think this is still going on in 2020 and it’s something I don’t believe should be happening.’

Marcus Rashford reveals Man United allowed him into their academy a year early 8

Rashford penned an open letter to the Government to express concerns at the end of their food voucher scheme, set up for children reliant on food being provided at school, next month.

Vouchers worth £15 to spend in supermarkets were distributed to those who needed them.

In the letter, Rashford wrote: ‘I encourage you to hear their pleas and find your humanity. Please reconsider your decision to cancel the food voucher scheme over the summer holiday period and guarantee the extension.

‘This is England in 2020 and this is an issue that needs urgent assistance.

‘Please, while the eye of the nation are on you, make the U-turn and make protecting the lives of some of our most vulnerable a top priority.’

Speaking about the letter on BBC Breakfast, the United star added: ‘It’s written from the heart and it’s about how my life was at the moment – the letter is to open up and let people understand the impact on families and to know I’ve done the right thing.

‘What families are going through now, I’ve once had to go through that – and it’s very difficult to find a way out.

‘It’s very important for me to help people who are struggling. Whether the outcome changes or doesn’t change – that’s why I wrote it.’

 

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