Man Utd ‘new’ striker Dr Marcus Rashford after being awarded honorary doctorate

International footballer Marcus Rashford is set to become the youngest recipient of an honorary doctorate from The University of Manchester. The 22-year-old will be recognised for his campaign against child poverty, and his sporting achievements.

The Manchester United forward persuaded the government to extend the free school meal vouchers scheme throughout the summer. He said: "It's a proud day for me and my family."

The England international striker will follow legendary Manchester United figures such as Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton, who have previously received the award - the highest honour the university can offer.

"When you look at the great names that have been awarded this doctorate in the past, it's humbling," said Rashford. "We still have a long way to go in the fight to combat child poverty in this country, but receiving recognition from your city means we are heading in the right direction, and that means a lot."

In June, Rashford called on the government to reverse a decision not to provide free school meal vouchers during the summer, saying that "the system isn't built for families like mine to succeed".

University President and Vice-Chancellor Prof Dame Nancy Rothwell said: "Marcus is an extraordinary young man with an extraordinary talent and drive that stretches well beyond the football field."

"His work for charity and his high-profile campaign will not only help countless young people across our own city, but across the entire country."

Manchester United praised Rashford as an "exceptional player and an exceptional person".

The club said: "His work with FareShare and his focus on child poverty make him richly deserving of this tremendous honour, and everyone at Manchester United is incredibly proud of him."

Photo: Oleg Bkhambri (Voltmetro)