Marcus Rashford received a fresh outpouring of support following the racist abuse he and England teammates suffered after the Euro 2020 final — as a defaced artwork featuring the footballer was being restored.
The striker, 23, wrote a heartfelt social media post following the team’s loss on Sunday, saying he felt he had “let everyone down” by missing a penalty.
In his post, which has been liked more than three million times, he said he was on the “verge of tears” after seeing how his local community in Withington, Manchester,covered racist abuse written across a mural of him with positive notes and hearts.
After Rashford posted his statement, scores of stars messaged words of support — including England footballers Declan Rice and Jordan Henderson, plus Rio Ferdinand, Mason Greenwood, Stan Collymore and Jesse Lingard and F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. Models Bella Hadid, Cara Delevigne and Jourdan Dunn plus singer Anne Marie also showed their support to the star.
Anti-racist organisation Stand Up to Racism has organised a demonstration to take place by the mural at 6pm on Tuesday.
Good Morning Britain presenters Susannah Reid and Ranvir Singh were in tears on the show as they discussed the racism directed at Rashford.
Reid said Rashford’s post was “incredibly moving”. Along with co-presenter Singh, she became tearful after reading out a letter sent to Rashford, who has campaigned to prevent child hunger, by a nine-year-old called Dexter in which he said he had been “inspired” by the footballer to help those less fortunate.
Reid said she hoped the Three Lions “realise how many people love them, are proud of them and how many people they have inspired”.
Meanwhile artist Akse, who created the Rashford mural, returned to the work to restore it this morning.
Withington Walls co-founder Ed Wellard, who commissioned the artwork, said the people responsible should be educated and not punished.
He said he hoped that “something positive might come of it” as people are now “talking about the issue of racism in this country”.
Rashford thanked fans for their support, tweeting: “The messages I have received today have been positively overwhelming and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears. The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up. I’m Marcus Rashford, 23 years old, black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester.
“If I have nothing else, I have that. For all the kind messages, thank you. I’ll be back stronger. We’ll be back stronger.”
Meanwhile, Scotland Yard said 86 people have been arrested as a result of Sunday’s violence at Wembley, and stressed it would continue to pursue offenders.
Officers will be analysing footage of the disorder over the coming days to identify potential suspects, while similar investigations into any racist social media posts reported to police are expected to be carried out.
Some of the work is likely to take days or even weeks to complete, but both police and the Crown Prosecution Service have made clear that they will seek to take culprits to court whenever the evidence permits.
The 86 arrests made by the Met so far over the disorder before, during and after the final between England and Italy include 53 at Wembley,
The rest took place elsewhere in the capital. Those held were detained for alleged crimes including public order offences, ABH, drunk and disorderly and criminal damage. A total of 19 officers sustained injuries.