By Tony Jones and Catherine Wylie, PA
The British Queen Consort sang the praises of Marcus Rashford when she unveiled a donation of books from the Manchester United striker to his former youth club.
Camilla described the England player’s gesture as “wonderful” during an afternoon spent touring Norbrook Youth Club with Britain's King Charles, where as a schoolboy Rashford played pool with his friends when not training with his club.
England manager Gareth Southgate also praised the player, dubbing him “impressive”, after he sat down with Charles to hear the life stories of young people supported by The Prince’s Trust.
The Norbrook Youth Club, in the Manchester area of Wythenshawe, received a bookshelf unit crammed with children’s novels – picked by the footballer and Macmillan Children’s Books team – donated by the Marcus Rashford Book Club in partnership with the National Literacy Trust.
Southgate, an ambassador with the Prince’s Trust, when asked about the striker’s role tackling issues like literacy and child hunger, replied: “He’s been so impressive in being able to cope with it and to be thinking of other people.
“We’re fortunate in our team, we’ve got a lot of young men who recognise the privilege they’ve got and the opportunity to help other people that have come from the same areas that they’ve come from… we are in his youth centre, aren’t we.”
In 2020, Rashford waged a high-profile campaign to persuade the UK government to provide free meals to vulnerable youngsters in England throughout the school holidays during the coronavirus pandemic, forcing the then-prime minister Boris Johnson into a U-turn.
The England manager went on to say: “This is where he grew up. He recognises the impact that had on his life and the opportunity he’s got (and) the position he’s in to be able to affect things positively for other people.”