Marcus Rashford is to receive a special prize at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award ceremony in recognition for his remarkable work in raising awareness of child food poverty in the UK.
The Manchester United forward has tirelessly campaigned for the poorest children to be given access to free school meals, forcing Boris Johnson’s Tory government into two embarrassing U-turns.
In June the Old Etonian prime minister was forced to concede defeat in the wake of Rashford’s campaigning, with the government overturning their callous decision not to provide £15-a-week food vouchers over the summer holidays.
Then earlier this month a beleaguered Johnson was again forced into yet another climbdown as Rashford’s calls to extend the scheme were initially ignored.
Johnson was ultimately forced to agree to a £170m winter grant scheme and extend the school meals plan into Easter, summer and Christmas next year.
Rashford has won huge public acclaim for the manner in which he has juggled his efforts to help others alongside those required to play in attack for United and England, and he was awarded an MBE last month.
Many had expected him to pick up the main BBC Sports Personality of the Year award prize for 2020, but with other sporting achievements taking precedence he will now receive a special prize.
He will pick the award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year event in Salford on December 20.
Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport said: “Marcus’s endeavour to give a voice to those who find themselves in a situation that he too is familiar with has been greatly admired and the panel wanted to ensure he was recognised for that.
“In a year that has been challenging for everyone, but particularly vulnerable families, he has gone above and beyond to transcend his sport and make a real difference. This award is a tribute to a remarkable young man.”
The hour-long documentary, to be broadcast on BBC One, promises to show Rashford’s tireless efforts in campaigning and shine a light on the issues facing some of the poorest families in the UK.
Clare Sillery, BBC Head of Commissioning for Documentaries, said: “Everyone will be familiar with the Marcus Rashford we see on the pitch but this documentary will offer a deeper insight into the man himself.
“Through our access we hope viewers will get to see just how passionate and determined he is about tackling child food poverty in Britain today”.
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