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Marcus Rashford: Goalscorer who forced U-turn over school lunches | Jacob Steinberg

Tue, 06/16/2020 - 15:13

Manchester United striker’s campaign to extend free school meals programme, initially rejected by Boris Johnson, has struck a chord with the wider public

A young man renowned for hitting the target on and off the pitch. The Manchester United and England striker has a social conscience as vast as his footballing talent and has rarely put a foot wrong since bursting on to the scene as an unheralded 18-year-old in 2016. Rashford became an instant hero after hitting four goals in his first two games for United, underlined his potential by scoring three minutes into his England debut and has performed wonders for the community during the coronavirus pandemic, culminating in him forcing the government to row back on its decision not to extend its free school meals voucher system for low-income families in England over the summer holidays. Boris Johnson initially stood firm but the prime minister quickly discovered that Rashford was not going to budge. The 22-year-old kept urging Johnson to relent and he duly did so on Tuesday, announcing a new £120m voucher scheme. “I don’t even know what to say,” Rashford tweeted. “Just look at what we can do when we come together, THIS is England in 2020.”

Related: Boris Johnson makes U-turn on free school meals vouchers

Related: 'Protect the vulnerable': Marcus Rashford's open letter to MPs

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Grealish to Ndombele: six Premier League players with a point to prove

Tue, 06/16/2020 - 14:00

After a three-month hiatus, some players are in desperate need of a successful end to the season

Even before a lockdown during which he received a stern talking to from Arsenal for standing too close to his valet and then appearing to inhale nitrous oxide from a balloon, this has been a challenging campaign for Lacazette. After entering it as Arsenal’s player of the season, an early ankle injury stripped his confidence bare. His struggles in front of goal led to a nine-game drought until February, made worse by the fact that his presence shifted Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the flank. This seems like an important opportunity for him to return with a clean slate and provide Mikel Arteta with some enthusiasm for his future at the club. Otherwise there will be many questions.

Related: Jack Grealish: 'I am a footballer but I’m still human. We all make mistakes'

Related: Paul Pogba's marriage of convenience with Manchester United may get unlikely spark | Jonathan Wilson

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Marcus Rashford speaks of experience with childhood poverty in bid for free school meals – video

Tue, 06/16/2020 - 10:22

Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford has stepped up his campaign for the government to fund free meals for struggling children through the summer, a measure he says he had to rely on as a boy.

The 22-year-old has helped to raise million of pounds with charity FareShare UK to supply meals to families who are ‘existing on a knife’s edge’ and written an open letter to MPs to reconsider the decision to cancel the government’s food voucher scheme over the summer holidays.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast on Monday, Rashford said: ‘What families are going through now, I’ve once had to go through that and it’s very difficult to find a way out. It’s very important for me to help people who are struggling’

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Boris Johnson rejects Marcus Rashford's plea for summer free school meals

Mon, 06/15/2020 - 15:38
  • Manchester United striker wrote open letter requesting u-turn
  • Downing Street said prime minister would respond to Rashford

Boris Johnson has rejected a plea from Marcus Rashford to reconsider the government’s decision not to extend its free school meals voucher system for low-income families over the summer holiday period.

The Manchester United and England striker has urged politicians to perform a u-turn and ensure that vulnerable pupils can continue to access the national voucher scheme, which was introduced in March to help poorer families feed their children when schools were closed under lockdown measures.

Related: 'Protect the vulnerable': Marcus Rashford's open letter to MPs

Related: 'This has to stop': Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford join calls for change

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'Protect the vulnerable': Marcus Rashford's open letter to MPs

Mon, 06/15/2020 - 06:00

I would be doing myself, my family and my community an injustice if I didn’t stand here today with my voice and my platform and ask you for help

To all MPs in parliament,

On a week that would have opened Euro 2020, I wanted to reflect back to 27 May 2016, when I stood in the middle of the Stadium of Light in Sunderland having just broken the record for the youngest player to score in his first senior international match. I watched the crowds waving their flags and fist-pumping the Three Lions on their shirts and I was overwhelmed with pride not only for myself but for all of those who had helped me reach this moment and achieve my dream of playing for the England national team.

Related: Fears for gambling frenzy as Premier League and Championship return

Related: 'This has to stop': Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford join calls for change

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Premier League fans preview the restart, part 2: Man City to Wolves

Sun, 06/14/2020 - 08:01

Fans have their say on the run-in, the lockdown, and what they missed most – and least – about football
Part 1: Arsenal to Liverpool

This is the first time we’ve had a fully fit squad this season, with Laporte and Leroy back. And the various changes should suit City: Pep’s cerebral and intensely detailed brand of football should be easier to implement given the lack of emotion in the fixtures, and the ability to make five subs. That helps the bigger clubs.

Related: Premier League Project Restart: the key questions answered

Related: Premier League fans preview the restart, part 1: Arsenal to Liverpool

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Premier League restart preview No 12: Manchester United

Sat, 06/13/2020 - 11:59

Confidence was high going into the break and Paul Pogba’s and Marcus Rashford’s return could inspire a top-four finish

What was the situation like when the league was suspended on 13 March? United were almost as frustrated as Liverpool at the timing of the break. They had just completed their first league double over Manchester City in a decade and after an up and down season under Ole Gunnar Solskjær were looking a good bet – only three points behind Chelsea – for a fourth-place finish.

Related: Manchester United, Sheffield United and the case of Dean Henderson | Paul Doyle

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Manchester United agree for Dean Henderson to stay at Sheffield United

Fri, 06/12/2020 - 15:28
  • Goalkeeper in line to extend loan for rest of season
  • Deal agreed in principle and only final details remain

Dean Henderson is set to remain at Sheffield United on loan from Manchester United for the final matches of the elongated season, with an agreement for the goalkeeper to do so having been reached in principle by the clubs.

There are still some details to be ironed out, but it is expected to be done before 23 June – the deadline for clubs to extend the contracts players whose deals expire on 30 June.

Related: Manchester United, Sheffield United and the case of Dean Henderson | Paul Doyle

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Stoke scrap Manchester United friendly after O'Neill tests positive for Covid-19

Tue, 06/09/2020 - 23:06
  • Championship club confirm manager has virus
  • O’Neill already at Carrington when he learned of result

Stoke were forced to cancel a friendly against Manchester United at the last minute after learning that manager, Michael O’Neill, had tested positive for coronavirus.

The Championship side had already travelled to United’s Carrington training ground before the match was hastily called off.

Related: 'A disgrace': Peterborough furious as League One and League Two curtailed

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Manchester United, Sheffield United and the case of Dean Henderson | Paul Doyle

Tue, 06/09/2020 - 19:00

On-loan Blades keeper is due to back at Old Trafford on 30 June but his club would be subject to questions if they enforce it now

Manchester United have a clear opportunity to sabotage one of their closest rivals in the chase for Champions League qualification but it would belittle them to seize it. There has been a lot of talk about sporting integrity in recent months, sometimes to camouflage something more base, but the case of Dean Henderson is one where the spirit of the game leaves no doubt about the only respectable outcome.

Henderson has been on loan to Sheffield United since 2018, an initial season-long stint having been renewed last summer. The young goalkeeper was enjoying another excellent campaign until the Premier League was suspended on 13 March, the day after he turned 23.

Related: Sheffield United’s Chris Wilder: the old school manager with new ideas | Louise Taylor

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Tony Dunne, Manchester United European Cup winner, dies aged 78

Mon, 06/08/2020 - 23:07
  • Left-back was part of side that beat Benfica in 1968 final
  • Republic of Ireland international played 535 games for United

Tony Dunne, one of Manchester United’s European Cup heroes of 1968, has died at the age of 78.

The left-back Dunne was part of the side that famously lifted the trophy for the first time after defeating Benfica 4-1 at Wembley. The Republic of Ireland international spent 13 years at Old Trafford, having been signed by Sir Matt Busby for 5,000 in 1960, also winning two First Division titles and an FA Cup.

One of our greatest-ever full-backs. An integral part of the 1968 European Cup-winning side. A player who made 535 appearances in the red shirt of Manchester United.

Our heartfelt condolences go to the loved ones of Tony Dunne. May he rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/M8xYNdqMcU

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Paul Pogba's marriage of convenience with Manchester United may get unlikely spark | Jonathan Wilson

Sat, 06/06/2020 - 20:00

New reality caused by pandemic means a move away is unlikely and with the arrival of Bruno Fernandes the future looks much brighter for United

Last summer, as Manchester United toured Japan, Paul Pogba was openly talking about seeking “a new challenge somewhere else”. Frustrated at United’s failure to qualify for the Champions League and with the general sense of drift at the club, and in the expectation of a lucrative move, it made sense for him to be considering his future. A year on, it seems increasingly probable he will stay at Old Trafford. If Pogba does stay United will, for the first time since Alex Ferguson left, have a squad that looks vaguely coherent.

Nothing in football is certain – particularly where Mino Raiola, Pogba’s agent, is concerned – but the sport’s new economy militates against a move. Pogba’s contract expires next summer but United have the option of triggering an additional year. With advertising and sponsorship down, no immediate prospect of fans returning and a more general sense of uncertainty, it’s difficult to see any club being prepared to pay the sort of fee United would demand or the wages Pogba (and Raiola) would expect, particularly given he has managed five starts in the league this season because of an ankle injury. Even if a super-club does feel an urge to splash out, younger and more appealing talents have emerged to tempt them. Such is the fickle nature of these things.

Related: Manchester United warn of long-term economic effect of virus to clubs

Fernandes has been revelatory since his arrival – he appears the tactical key that makes everything else make sense

Related: Pogba and Rashford ready to return for Manchester United, says Solskjær

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