Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford says being awarded an MBE will not change him.
Rashford was rewarded in October for services to vulnerable children in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic.
The 23-year-old England international successfully lobbied the Government into a U-turn over its free school meals policy during lockdown, ensuring children in need would receive meals across the summer.
Rashford has since formed a child food poverty task force, linking up with some of the nation’s biggest supermarkets and food brands.
In an exclusive interview with Soccer AM Rashford admitted he never thought he would get an MBE.
“When I was younger it wasn’t like a dream of mine to have that status and growing up it wasn’t something that I expected to achieve.
“It’s something that I take in my stride and I’ll just make sure it doesn’t change me as a person and who I am.
“I definitely appreciate it but it wouldn’t have happened without the support team that I have behind me.
“My family, my friends and just the country in general really – the support that they have shown over the past year.
“I know in football it’s so difficult to put aside rivalries. But in a time where people needed it most, the public and the country have done that. It’s great credit to them.”
Rashford says he is not sure when he will go to Buckingham Palace next year.
“I don’t know. Presuming when Covid is sorted. It will definitely be a moment I’ll remember forever. Who doesn’t want to meet the Queen?”
Soccer AM’s Tubes asked him if the Queen would recognise the striker.
He replied: “Hopefully! It will be a nice day.”
Manchester United will have to be taken seriously as Liverpool’s main Premier League title rivals if they emerge from their visit to Leicester with another away win, according to Paul Merson.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s position came under scrutiny in November following defeats by Arsenal and Istanbul Basaksehir, and his side’s early Champions League elimination intensified the pressure surrounding his job.
But United moved up to third in the Premier League following a chaotic 6-2 win over Leeds last weekend, and Merson believes a seventh successive victory this season away from Old Trafford on Boxing Day would represent a landmark result.
“If United go and win at Leicester, this would be a bigger statement than beating Leeds 6-2,” Merson told Sky Sports. “If they can come away with a win, I would think ‘wow’. It would turn my head and if they win they would be Liverpool’s main rivals.
Gary Neville discusses whether Manchester United need to enter the January transfer market and if manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can ever afford not to have Bruno Fernandes or Harry Maguire in his starting line-up.
United beat Everton 2-0 at Goodison Park on Wednesday night to progress to the Carabao Cup semi-finals, where they will face rivals Manchester City.
As a result, Solskjaer’s side have now won their last 14 away games in all competitions, a run that has seen the club move to within just five points of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League, and with a game in hand on the champions.
“If the right player is available then yes, Manchester United should go into the January transfer market because they need to improve the team,” said the Sky Sports pundit on the Gary Neville podcast.
“But if the player is not there, they won’t panic, they have been doing things a bit better in the market in recent years.”
You can see the full interview with Marcus Rashford on Soccer AM on Boxing Day from 10:30am. The show is on Sky Sports Main Event, SS Premier League, SS Football and Sky One, and will also feature Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher and Noel Gallagher.