Marcus Rashford urges children to 'embrace differences' as Beano guest editor

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Marcus Rashford has taken charge of a special edition of the Beano in which he urges young readers to "embrace their differences" and celebrate "all the things that make us unique".

The England and Manchester United footballer "jumped at the chance" to guest-edit the children's comic, which has immortalised him in cartoon form on the front cover.

Rashford, 24, also appears throughout the magazine, drawn alongside iconic characters including the Bash Street Kids, Billy Whizz and Bananaman.

He joined forces with the title after the publication of his new book, You Can Do It: How To Find Your Team And Make A Difference, co-written with Carl Anka.

Rashford revealed in his editor's letter how his favourite thing about the Beano is it "brings together all sorts of different children".

"Instead of our differences dividing us, we embrace them here and we find strength in them," he told readers.

"Nobody is a success in football without good teammates, and that's true in life as well.

"Everybody needs to build a team of allies to have fun with and speak up for what's important.

"Our voice is strong alone, but when our voices come together, we are powerful.

"When we fight for things that are important together, we can make progress a lot quicker than by ourselves.

"Asking for help is no weakness. Asking for help to achieve things quicker is a superpower.

"Finding your voice doesn't have to be difficult. It can be as simple as having the confidence to stand up for something you believe in, or to champion someone else and their difference.

"Your journey is your strength, and everyone has something valuable to contribute."

Rashford - awarded an MBE after forcing a government U-turn over its free school meal vouchers during the COVID lockdown - also said reading was one of his favourite things to do "because it lets me dream".

"I see myself achieving so much more and I'm motivated to give new things a try," he added.

The special edition will be available from Wednesday in partnership with NatWest's Thrive programme, set up with Rashford to help children aged six to 16 become more financially confident and realise their full potential.

The magazine will include a strip dedicated to the programme, which includes interactive workshops and peer-to-peer sessions, showing the England striker teaching Beanotown kids about failure, persistence, patience and role models.

For each copy of the special edition sold, 20p will be donated to the Marcus Rashford Book Club to help children access books, in partnership with Macmillan Children's books.

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