Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford will become the youngest person to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester for his work campaigning against child poverty.

The 22-year-old Rashford forced a government U-turn last month after he wrote an open letter to legislators asking for the reversal of a decision not to award free school meal vouchers to vulnerable children outside term.

“We still have a long way to go in the fight to combat child poverty in this country,” Rashford said, “but receiving recognition from your city means we are heading in the right direction and that means a lot. Thank you to the University of Manchester.”

The Manchester-born player said his family relied on free school meals when he was growing up.

During the coronavirus pandemic, he has also linked up with poverty and food waste charity FareShare to help raise 20 million pounds ($25 million), which meant 3.9 million meals could be distributed to vulnerable people every week.

“Marcus is an extraordinary young man with an extraordinary talent and drive that stretches well beyond the football field,” said Prof. Nancy Rothwell, president and vice chancellor of the University of Manchester.

“His work for charity and his high-profile campaign will not only help countless young people across our own city, but across the entire country.”

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