Marcus Rashford is a hero.
An elite level footballer making a difference in the world, the Manchester United forward does not need defending. He’s done too much both on and off the field at the age of only 23, acting as a shining light in some of the darkest times, for strange criticisms of his life outside of football to hold any kind of meaning.
Indeed, with Rashford recently reacting to an article potentially being drawn up to highlight how he has benefitted commercially over the 18 months (something that holds no relevance to the humanitarian work he’s been doing) now seems an apt time to reflect on just what an example he has been.
These are the cold hard facts, as reported by The Sunday Times’ ‘Giving List’ (via Liverpool’s Labour Mayor Steve Rotheram on Twitter).
Marcus Rashford has donated £20m to charities, equating to 125% of his personal worth.
That, really, should be enough to see him roundly celebrated. Of the top ten donors in the United Kingdom, it is Rashford who sits far out in front.
Interestingly, Jordan Henderson is sixth on the list, having reportedly donated £4m to the NHS following the COVID-19 pandemic, around 16% of his wealth.
It seems like we are entering a new age for footballers.
Perhaps it has always been the case that certain individuals are prepared to use their platforms and that the social media world we live in now means it is easier to highlight but, while not to ignore the efforts of the past, it is hard to remember anyone being as high profile or quite simply as genuinely kind-hearted as Rashford.
It is the striker, along with characters like Henderson, who England can be proud of. There are so many reasons to praise Rashford, who does so much for the next generation, but seeing just how much he has donated serves as a reminder of what a heroic figure he is.
Not that anybody should have needed one in the first place.