Marcus Rashford received the prestigious MBE award from Prince William

England striker Marcus Rashford received the prestigious MBE award with his mum at Windsor Castle this morning for his school meals campaign

The Man United and England forward and his mum Melanie Rashford arrived at Windsor Castle this morning for the ceremony.

Marcus Rashford became a national hero last year after he successfully pushed the Government into a U-turn over its free school meals policy during the lockdown, ensuring children in need would receive meals across the summer.

The 24-year-old was named as an MBE recipient last year but the ceremony was postponed due to the pandemic.

Prince William, who is hosting his first investiture since the pandemic began, included a photo of an honour resting on a velvet cushion at Windsor Castle.

The striker has repeatedly called for the free school meal provision to be extended to all children aged 7 to 18 in households earning £20,000 or less after benefits, and to children that are undocumented or living in immigrant households with no refuge to public funds.

Rashford also built a new football pitch at his old primary school to stimulate the next generation to follow in his footsteps.

His campaigning has led the Wythenshawe-born sports star to become the youngest recipient of an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Manchester.

He was recently named in the esteemed Powerlist 2022 – the annual list of the UK’s most powerful people of African, African Caribbean and African American heritage.

Last month, he teamed up with some important supermarkets to call for free school holiday meals to be continued for the next three years.

He said a failure to maintain funding for children would ‘both deepen and extend the scarring caused by the pandemic on our youngest citizens and ultimately our economy’.

The Man United star previously said he was “honoured and humbled” to be awarded the recognition — and dedicated it to his mum Melanie.

“This is a very special moment for myself and my family, but particularly my mum who is the real deserving recipient of the honour,” Rashford said.

“The fight to protect our most vulnerable children is far from over.

“I would be doing my community, and the families I have met and spoken with, an injustice if I didn’t use this opportunity to respectfully urge the Prime Minister to support our children during the October half-term with an extension of the voucher scheme, as the furlough scheme comes to an end and we face increased unemployment.

“Another sticking plaster, but one that will give the parents of millions of children in the UK just one less thing to worry about.”

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