Barack Obama, former US president, has praised Marcus Rashford, Manchester United forward, for his anti-poverty campaign in England.
He commended the 23-year-old’s quest for social service, noting that he is “way ahead of where I was” at that age.
Obama said such positive force exhibited by Rashford is liable to ignite a genuine social movement.
The 44th US president said this in a Zoom meeting organised by Penguin Books, British publishing house, to discuss ‘Promise Land’, Obama’s memoir, community projects, among other issues.
“Even if you do something positive on a small scale, that’s making a difference, and it’s the accumulation of people doing positive things over time that makes us a little bit better with each successive generation,” Obama said.
In reaction, Rashford said it was “surreal” to speak with the former president from his kitchen in Manchester.
“I mean, it’s quite surreal isn’t it? I’m sitting in my kitchen in Manchester, speaking to president Obama. But immediately he made me feel at ease,” he said.
“It wasn’t long before I realised just how aligned our experiences as children were in shaping the men you see today – adversity, obstacles and all.”
In 2020, after the outbreak of COVID-19, the striker committed himself to a campaign that ensured that 1.3 million children in England had access to free school meal vouchers.
Marcus raised about £20 million to supply three million meals to vulnerable people.
His charitable efforts earned him recognition as a Member of the Order of the British Empire