On Tuesday night, he tweeted a four-part thread acknowledging that his work to feed and provide books for more than one million children has, inevitably, given him a “larger commercial appeal”. But, he asked, why The Spectator – or anyone else – felt the need to suggest there was a selfish agenda behind his efforts.
The 23-year-old’s full thread read: “Just heard @spectator are planning to run a story on me tomorrow about how I have benefitted commercially in the last 18 months.
“To clarify, I don’t need to partner with brands. I partner because I want to progress the work I do off the pitch and most of any fee I would receive contributes to that.
“Last summer, 1.3M children had access to food support, through my relationship with Burberry children have a safe place to be after school where they will be fed, following the November investment vulnerable children have safe places to go this summer holiday, and due to my relationship with Macmillan 80,000 children now have a book to call their own.
“Do I have a larger commercial appeal following the u-turns? I’m sure. But I’m also a Manchester United and England international footballer. Why has there always got to be a motive? Why can’t we just do the right thing?
“I actually enjoy reading bits from The Spectator now and again but this is just a non starter.”
But I’m also a Manchester United and England international footballer. Why has there always got to be a motive? Why… https://t.co/GHf8fg6KPj
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@Marcus Rashford MBE)
Rashford’s Burberry partnership saw the fashion company make a number of donations to youth charities and youth clubs, including London Youth and Norbrook Youth Club in Manchester, which he attended as a child.
Before that he launched a petition urging the Government to extend free school meals through the half-term and Christmas holidays, eventually pressuring ministers into providing £170 million of extra funding.
Rashford, who received free school meals himself, was made an MBE in the delayed 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.