Marcus Rashford wins Pat Tillman Award for Service

Marcus Rashford will be awarded with the Pat Tillman Award for Service on the 10th of July at the 2021 ESPYS. The 23-year-old Manchester United star will receive the award due to his incredible work across the year where he has raised millions to feed children.

This award was established in 2014 to commemorate the former NFL player and U.S. Army Rangers legacy. Pat Tillman left his sports career in the NFL to serve in the military in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. He was killed in April 2004 while serving in Afghanistan.

It also was created in order to honour an individual with a strong connection to sports who has served others in a way that echoes Tillman’s legacy; Rashford has had the privilege to receive the award this year.

The United winger has not only done his job on the pitch in 2021, but he has also continued his great work with children from 2020 and continued to raise money for those in need. He also released a book in May ‘You Are A Champion: How To Be The Best You Can Be’ alongside Carl Anka, where in partnership with MacMillan Children’s Books, he will donate 390,000 books to children who have been deprived from books.

Rashford has spoken on the importance he puts on speaking for those who do not have a voice in the public, the English international said: “An athlete is the least we can be.”

He continued: “Sport can be the biggest driver of positive change, with its ability to truly unite. If I have achieved anything over the last year, I would hope that it would be to demonstrate to my peers what is possible when we are driven by a passion and determination for better. Better not for ourselves, but for those whose voices are very rarely heard.

“We have a platform to speak on behalf of millions. When we wake up in the morning, we decide what we want to do with that platform. The reward of helping just one will always outweigh the risk of any negativity or criticism thrown my way. I’m honoured to be this year’s recipient of the Pat Tillman Award. A huge thank you to all involved.”

Rashford’s work over the Covid-19 pandemic has been commendable, with the footballer ensuring that low-income families were still able to feed their children with many losing their jobs in the crisis. United’s number ten caused two government U-Turns in regards to having free school meals during the summer and winter holidays and has been a role model for everybody over the past two years.

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Marie Tillman, co-founder of the Pat Tillman Foundation, was full of praise for the footballer, saying: “Marcus raised millions and brought together a coalition of restaurants and groceries to ensure that vulnerable children and families had enough to eat as the pandemic closed off resources to them in Great Britain. But he didn’t stop there — he twice took on the U.K. government to extend food benefits to families and he won.

He saw a wrong and used his platform to guide those around him to making it right. Marcus’ passion for ending child poverty, inspired by his own experiences with food insecurity, mirror Pat’s passion for leading by example and identifying where he could unite others to make an impact.”

The United star is currently with Gareth Southgate’s England squad at Euro 2020, where he will be looking to start the final group game against Czech Republic on Tuesday after being a substitute in the first two fixtures of the competition.

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His off-field work is continuing to be appreciated and the Pat Tillman Award for Service is just another example of this; congratulations Marcus!

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