One of the world’s most dynamic young athletes, Marcus Rashford MBE is a multi-hyphenate phenomenon whose influence extends far beyond the field. A star player for the England national team, the 24-year-old South Manchester native has achieved massive success as a forward for Premier League club Manchester United, including scoring 98 goals in 312 club appearances to date. With his latest triumphs including being named Premier League’s Player of the Month for the second time, landing on TIME’s “100 Next” list, and emerging as a magnetic new presence in the fashion world through ambassadorships with leading brands like Nike, Levi’s, and Burberry, Rashford has firmly cemented his place in the rare echelon of athletes with a sweeping cultural impact.
Originally from Withington, Rashford made his way into the global spotlight after overcoming formidable odds. As the youngest of five children raised by a single mother, he grew up in a council estate and enrolled in the Manchester United academy at the age of seven. After scoring two goals in both his first-team debut against Midtjylland in February 2016 and in his Premier League debut against Arsenal three days later, he went on to gain recognition as the youngest English player to score in his first senior international match, shattering a record from 1938. That same year, Rashford represented England at Euro 2016 as the tournament’s youngest player, while 2018 saw him making a much-heralded debut at the FIFA World Cup. By January 2020, he’d marked his 200th club appearance with a double in a 4-0 victory over Norwich City. The following year, at just 23-years-old, he made his 100th career goal in a June match against Romania—a milestone achieved while captaining England for the first time, making him the youngest player to hold that honor since 2004. Over the years, Rashford’s many accomplishments have also included winning the FA Cup, the EFL Cup, the FA Community Shield, and the UEFA Europa League.
Committed to using his platform for positive change, Rashford launched a program in the early days of Covid lockdown to deliver meals to disadvantaged children, reaching four million kids in the first few months. That June, he penned an open letter calling on the UK government to end child poverty—a move swiftly followed by a policy change extending free school meals during the summer holidays. Later that year, Rashford established the Child Food Poverty Task Force and next partnered with Macmillan Children’s Books for the Marcus Rashford Book Club (a program aimed at distributing books to 400,000 children who’d never owned a book before). And in 2021, Rashford made his publishing debut with You Are a Champion (winner of WH Smith’s Book of the Year prize).
Named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list for 2021, Rashford recently inaugurated his multi-year partnership with Nike through the launch of the Play Forward Academy (an initiative focused on building football pitches for and teaching children). As he continues to dominate the field, Rashford made an auspicious start to the new Premier League season with four goal involvements in September alone, further forging his legacy as one of football’s brightest and most powerful talents.