A mural dedicated to Marcus Rashford and inspired by the forward’s campaigning for free school meals has been vandalised in Greater Manchester.
Street artist Akse paid homage to the Man Utd star back in November by painting Rashford on the side of Coffee House Cafe in Copson Street, Withington.
The portrait was accompanied by a quote from Rashford’s mother, Melanie, which reads: “Take pride in knowing that your struggle will play the biggest role in your purpose.”
But just a month after the masterpiece was unveiled to the public, vandals have attacked the wall by drawing over Rashford’s face in graffiti.
Rashford had shared an image of the mural shortly after it was completed, thanking Akse for his efforts.
The England ace wrote on Twitter : “Ok I usually get embarrassed sharing these things because this journey was never really about me but I know this took a lot of time and effort @Akse_P19 and I wanted to say thank you.”
The works is part of the Withington Walls initiative set up to brighten up areas of Manchester.
Rashford was chosen after his tireless crusade at persuading the government to continue providing free school meals to disadvantaged children across the country.
Akse said of his painting after it had been finished: “I hope the mural will inspire the local community as he has inspired the whole nation with his campaign to fight child food poverty.”
Rashford has since been awarded an MBE for his campaigning and is also due to receive a special honour at the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year awards later this month.
The 23-year-old benefited from the same school meals programme when he was a child growing up in Manchester, and he recently paid tribute to his mum for her unwavering support.
“She lived the struggle,” Rashford said. “That is why it means the world to me that she is happy now and she is right next to me with everything that I do, she believes as strongly as I do that things need to change.
“When there’s been setbacks she’s the first person to ring me to say ‘don’t worry, keep going’. It helps me not to lose sight of what it was that I started.
“It has been a difficult period for everyone with the lockdown and the virus.
“At the beginning of the year I was injured as well, I was really down and it gave me the determination and drive I was missing from not being involved in football games. I put everything I had into that.”