Marcus Rashford went back to his roots this week to take part in a game with the under-11s at the junior football club where he used to play.

In an interview with Jonathan Norcroft in today’s Sunday Times, Marcus pays tribute to Fletcher Moss Rangers and reveals who his favourite player was when he was a kid. And it’s not someone you’d expect it to be.

What characterises Rashford, writes Northcroft, is how differently he plays to many coached-by-numbers academy products, how flair is always central to his game, but resilience.

Marcus credits Fletcher Moss for this.

Marcus Rashford goes back to the Didsbury club where he used to play I Love Manchester

“When you come in through the door they never tell you to play a certain way,” says Marcus. “They never look to restrict you. They want you to be in control of what you’re doing.

“Being given freedom is massively underrated and without coaches who do that, players would all be the same.”

Marcus scored a hatful of goals when he played for Fletcher Moss. “We had a really good side. RoShaun Williams [also at United] was a striker and we played up front together. We used to score a ridiculous amount of goals.”Marcus Rashford goes back to the Didsbury club where he used to play I Love ManchesterSo it might come as something of a surprise that his favourite player wasn’t Ronaldo, Rooney or Ruud van Nistelrooy.

“My first season [at Fletcher Moss] I went in net. The thrill of scoring a goal, you get that same thrill when you save a good chance. Howard was my idol. I used to have a little Tim Howard shirt.”

Fletcher Moss Rangers are one of the biggest and best junior football clubs in Manchester, running more than twenty teams for different age groups.

They are known as the unofficial United academy. Other former players who have gone on to have professional careers include Jesse Lingard, Wes Brown, Danny Welbeck, Ravel Morrison, Tyler Blackett and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson.

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