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Marcus Rashford proved the star of England’s comprehensive win over Wales on Wednesday night, as he bagged two goals on the way to a 3-0 victory.
Gareth Southgate’s side impressed with a strong second half showing, and Rashford has now revealed the moving meaning behind one particular moment in the game.
The 25-year-old dropped to his knees and raised his hands skyward after firing home a freekick to break the deadlock on the 50th minute mark.
Speaking to reporters after the game, he said that the celebrations was his way of remembering a friend, Garfield Hayward, who had recently died.
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Rashford said: “Unfortunately I lost one of my friends a couple of days ago."
Rashford revealed the hidden meaning behind the celebrationStu Forster/Getty Images
The forward added: “He's had quite a long battle with cancer, so I'm pleased I managed to score for him.
“He's always been a big supporter of mine. He was just a great person and I'm pleased he came into my life, really.”
It’s the second meaningful celebration England fans have witnessed at this World Cup, after Jack Grealish dedicated his goal against Iran to an 11-year-old Man City supporter who has cerebral palsy.
Rashford was the star man for England on the night and Southgate recognised his efforts after the game by speaking about the build-up to the tournament earlier this year.
“It's been a challenge for him. I went and saw him in the summer, had a long chat with him and he had some clear ideas on things that he felt he needed to think about and to do.”
On his performance in the Wales win, Southgate added: “He could have had a hat-trick, really, with the chance in the first half and then the one at the near post towards the end.
“But great for him and because it's great for him it's great for us.”
England will now play Senegal in the Round of 16 on Sunday at 7pm.
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