Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford will be given the City of Manchester Award to thank him for his campaign to extend Free School Meals into school holidays to ensure young people have enough to eat.
Wythenshawe councillor Tommy Judge will give the award as his first act as the new Lord Mayor of Manchester at the Full Council meeting today, Wednesday 28th October.
The City of Manchester Award was introduced as a way of recognising an individual’s ‘outstanding and exceptional contribution to the city’.
Marcus Rashford will be invited to formally receive the award at a future meeting of the Council when social distancing rules allow.
The award is separate to the ‘Freedom of the City’ award that is given to recipients as recognition for a lifetime’s contribution to the city – which has been given to United greats such as Sir Bobby Charlton, Sir Alex Ferguson, and Sir Matt Busby.
“From one Wythenshawe lad to another, this is a truly memorable moment,” said Cllr Tommy Judge, incoming Lord Mayor of Manchester.
“We could never have known that Marcus was going to become the world-famous footballer that he is celebrated for today, but perhaps his recent campaign to feed needy young people will become his true legacy.
“The way he and his wonderful family has stood up for what they believe in, the way they have given a voice to the powerless has been remarkable to see.
“And the pride we feel in Wythenshawe for what he and his family have done is huge.
“So, it’s with great honour that as my first act as Lord Mayor of Manchester we bestow the City of Manchester Award to Marcus.
“Thank you for everything you have done for young people in this city and across the country.”
School children in Manchester who are eligible for a free school meal will continue to be supported through this week’s half term holiday to make sure that no child in the city goes hungry – and many Manchester restaurants have also offered support.