MARCUS RASHFORD pledged to never give up his fight for Britain’s kids – but accepted he had become a “target” for being outspoken.
The Manchester United and England striker has been transformed into a social reformer and substantial political figure after forcing at least two Government policy U-turns on feeding youngsters.
Rashford’s public stance saw him criticised widely before PM Boris Johnson made his hasty policy changes.
But Rashford insisted he is just at the beginning of a lifelong campaign to improve the lives of the country’s poorest families.
Rashford said: “I understood I was a target already.
“Being a footballer for one of the biggest clubs in the world is going to bring attention. I knew what I was stepping into.
“There were people who had opinions before they’d ever met or spoke with me. I’ve come to terms with that. It’s part of my life.
“The effect it will have on me, the campaign is much bigger than that.
“I’m willing to take the little bit of aggravation from wherever it comes from.”
Speaking to the FT Business of Football Summit, he added: “We’ve taken a lot of steps in the fight direction.
“I’ve raised awareness for this topic, so I’m pleased we have made some progress but I’m still hungry and wanting to do more.
“Before this campaign I hadn’t been one to speak up about my upbringing. I just got on with my job of playing football.
“The time came for me to speak out. We found ways to help and people and businesses who joined us were much more powerful than I was.
“I was dead proud of everyone for being so kind hearted and willing to do so. It’s been an amazing journey.
We wouldn’t have to say this if it had started 15 or 20 years ago and I hope you will see the benefits in 10 or 15 years from now.
“But it’s a long process. I’m not asking for it all to be done at once because that’s not possible and I know it will cost a lot of money.
“We wouldn’t have to say this if it had started 15 or 20 years ago and I hope you will see the benefits in 10 or 15 years from now.
“It will not stop me pushing forward with something these families need.”
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