Marcus Rashford on ‘verge of tears’ as vandalised mural is restored
Marcus Rashford: Graffiti on mural replaced with hearts
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The artwork on a wall in the community in which the footballer grew up in Withington, Manchester, was defaced by racist hooligans minutes after England lost the Euro 2020 final on penalties. The Manchester United ace was one of three England players to miss penalties.
Police are investigating the vandalism, which they say was “racially motivated”, but within hours, the community covered vulgar words with hundreds of heartfelt messages of support.
One touching message left on the mural read: “Dear Marcus, please know that you are so admired and people find you an inspiration.”
Love hearts with the words “hero, admired, campaigner and role model” were also placed over spots of the mural which had been defaced.
And now Rashford, 23, has expressed his joy at the support, as Manchester Evening News reports.
He said: “I dreamt of days like this. The messages I’ve received today have been positively overwhelming and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears.
“The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up.
“I’m Marcus Rashford, 23-year-old black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else I have that.
“For all the kind messages thank you. I’ll be back stronger. We’ll be back stronger.”
I dreamt of days like this. The messages I’ve received today have been positively overwhelming and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears.
The artist who created the mural, Akse, returned to help restore the artwork to its former glory.
He created the mural on the wall of Coffee House Café last year to celebrate the footballer’s achievements, including spearheading a campaign for all children to have free school meals.
Speaking today, the artist said: “The community coming together has been incredible.”
Staff from Manchester City Council have joined Akse to help transfer the messages, and have encouraged people to continue to visit the mural to leave notes of support.
Rashford, who was raised with his five older siblings in the Withington area, has also campaigned against homelessness.
But the Manchester United forward, along with Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka who also missed penalties, was subject to vile racism from trolls online after the defeat.
Condemning the racist attacks, Boris Johnson said: “This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media.
“Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.”
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