England and Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has been honoured for his work to raise awareness of child food poverty in the UK.
He will be given a special award at the BBC Sports Personality show next month.
In a separate move, Rashford, 23, has also been named on the annual Football Black List.
The BBC will show a documentary on the striker who successfully campaigned for the government to extend free school meals during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He will be presented with the Panel Special Award at this year’s BBC Sports Personality show on 20 December, which comes from Media City in Salford and will be shown live on BBC One.
The shortlist for the main Sports Personality of the Year award will be announced closer to the show.
The show’s judging panel unanimously agreed that Rashford’s accomplishments off the pitch should be commended with a special award as the criteria for the main award shortlist is based around sporting achievements.
Award tribute to ‘remarkable young man’
Earlier this year, Rashford’s campaign resulted in about 1.3 million children in England being able to claim free school meal vouchers in the summer holidays.
Another policy change in November saw the government announce more than £400m to support poor children and their families in England, following further campaigning by Rashford.
The footballer has spoken of going without food as a child and the sacrifices his family had to make.
He became an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours and has continued to lobby for further help for poorer families.
Rashford has also launched a book club to help children enjoy the escapism of reading.
“Marcus’ endeavour to give a voice to those who find themselves in a situation that he too is familiar with has been greatly admired and the panel wanted to ensure he was recognised for that,” said BBC director of sport Barbara Slater.
“In a year that has been challenging for everyone, but particularly vulnerable families, he has gone above and beyond to transcend his sport and make a real difference.
“This award is a tribute to a remarkable young man.”
- Queen’s Birthday Honours – Rashford becomes MBE
- City of Manchester award for Rashford
- Rashford launches book club
The documentary, to be shown on BBC One on 21 December, will offer insight into Rashford’s decision making and motivations for his campaign.
It will demonstrate how this drive contributed to the announcement of relief measures from the government to help the households of more than 1.7 million children.
“Everyone will be familiar with the Marcus Rashford we see on the pitch, but this documentary will offer a deeper insight into the man himself,” said Clare Sillery, BBC head of commissioning for documentaries.
“Through our access, we hope viewers will get to see just how passionate and determined he is about tackling child food poverty in Britain today.”
‘Doing great work’ – the Football Black List
The Football Black List, first published in 2008, highlights black industry professionals who are positive influencers.
Rashford is named on the players’ list alongside Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings, Watford’s Troy Deeney and Crystal Palace’s Chloe Morgan and Wilfried Zaha.
The names in eight categories are decided by a panel with representatives from the Premier League, the Football Association, the Professional Footballers’ Association, the League Managers’ Association, the English Football League, Professional Game Match Officials Limited, and anti-discriminatory bodies the Black Collective of Media in Sport and Kick It Out.
Former England forward Eniola Aluko – the Aston Villa Women sporting director – and former England striker Les Ferdinand – Queens Park Rangers’ director of football – were named in the senior administration section of the list.
The Football Black List’s co-founder, Rodney Hinds, said: “Yet again the Football Black List has unearthed many in the community that are doing great work.
“The efforts of Marcus Rashford deserve acclaim alongside the others on the list who go about their business for the good of others.”
The full list:
Cyrille Regis Players:
- Chloe Morgan, Crystal Palace Women
- Marcus Rashford, Manchester United and England
- Troy Deeney, Watford
- Tyrone Mings, Aston Villa and England
- Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace and Ivory Coast
- Edleen John, director of international relations, corporate affairs and diversity – FA
- Eniola Aluko, sporting director – Aston Villa Women
- Jade Morgan, general manager – Leicester City Women
- Les Ferdinand, director of football – Queens Park Rangers
- Marie Gabriel, chairperson – West Ham United Foundation
Coaching and Management:
- Alex Dyer, manager – Kilmarnock
- Ashley Boasah and Cornelius Nwadialor, joint managers – Tooting & Mitcham
- Jason Euell, Under-23 head coach – Charlton Athletic
- Karleigh Osborne, Women’s Head Coach – Brentford
- Tony Whelan, Assistant Academy Director – Manchester United
- Ashanti George-Faure, senior talent manager – Refresh Sports
- Faina Msellam, sports industry advisory board member – Birkbeck Sport Business Centre
- Marvin Morgan, CEO – Fresh Ego Kid
- Nathan Thompson, commercial director – West Ham United
- Warren Haughton, director, Haughton Consultancy
Community and Grassroots:
- Diane Sawyers, operations manager – Holford Drive Community Sports Hub
- Duke Harrison-Hunter, equality, diversity and inclusion officer – Pompey in the Community
- Emma Trent, head of programmes – Notts County Football in the Community
- Harold Bennett, founder – North London United
- Dr. Michael Seeraj, head of equality diversity & inclusion – Charlton Athletic
- Annette Nelson, education lead – Football v Homophobia
- Carl Anka, football reporter – The Athletic
- Charlene Gravesande, special projects journalist – Sky Sports
- Hugh Woozencroft, sports broadcaster – Talksport
- Jessica Creighton, sports reporter – Sky Sports
- Micah Richards, freelance broadcaster
- Hayley Bennett, founder – WeAreNutmegs
- Jason Lee, equalities education executive – PFA
- Marvin Robinson, CEO – Peterborough United Foundation
- Dr. Matt Ogunsanya, club doctor – Watford FC
- Sam Allison, national group referee – PGMOL