Marcus Rashford has received an honorary degree for his charity work and campaigning to end child poverty.
The Manchester United footballer was given the honorary doctorate from The University of Manchester at Old Trafford today (Thursday 7 October).
Aged just 23, he is the youngest recipient of an honorary doctorate from the university.
:heart::purple_heart:Congratulations @MarcusRashford!- The University of Manchester (@OfficialUoM) October 7, 2021
Today Marcus received his honorary doctorate at Old Trafford. Marcus is the youngest recipient of an honorary degree in the history of the University. @ManUtd @England pic.twitter.com/3DnM6gtBAQ
The award announcement was originally made last July, but the ceremony was delayed until now because of Covid-19.
Rashford said it felt 'bittersweet' collecting his honorary degree the day after the Universal Credit uplift was retracted.
He said: "To be here in the presence of a great such as Sir Alex, and those who have played a huge role in my journey to be where I am today is special.
"I'm here to receive my Honorary Doctorate for my work around child poverty. Yesterday, millions of families across the UK lost a lifeline and a means of staying afloat. A move that could see child poverty rise to 1 in 3 children. For that reason, today is bittersweet.
"It's time that representatives got out into communities like mine. It's time they saw first-hand the true measure of struggle. Covid-19 can no longer be used as an excuse."
Rashford waged a high-profile campaign last year to persuade the Government to provide free meals to vulnerable youngsters in England throughout the school holidays during the pandemic, forcing prime minister Boris Johnson into a U-turn.
He has also backed several child food poverty incentives and became the youngest person to top the Sunday Times Giving List by raising £20 million in donations from supermarkets for groups tackling the issue.
Presenting the degree, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell - president and vice-chancellor of the university - said: "Marcus is an exceptional young man who continues to demonstrate a sense of community and generosity that goes well beyond his years.
"Our University also has social responsibility at its core, and we are extremely proud to share these values with Marcus. It really is an honour to finally present him with this well-deserved award on behalf of our institution.
"His ongoing charity work and high-profile campaigns not only help millions of people across the country, but inspire many more to try and make a difference themselves. Long may it continue."
Featured Image Credit: University of Manchester