Marcus Rashford mural emblazoned with messages of support

Mancunians have shown their support for the England and Man Utd player in their hundreds after the Marcus Rashford mural in south Manchester was defaced.

Social media has been awash today with images of the tributes paid to Marcus Rashford, around the mural of the football player at the busy Copson Street, Withington.

The mural had been defaced with swear words shortly after England narrowly lost at penalties to Italy in the Euro’s 2020 final this Sunday.

After the defeat, Rashford, along with teammates Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, were met with a slew of racist abuse online.

Other racist material spread around Twitter in shockingly extreme and expletive ridden forms, with references to rape and lynching.

England Manager Gareth Southgate called the abuse unforgivable, while coach Gary Neville strongly criticised the Prime Minister and others in government who’d previously failed to condemn those fans who booed taking the knee, dismissing it as “gesture politics”.

But in a powerful show of support for the players, hundreds of Mancunians today helped to cover up the graffiti on the mural with their own tributes and messages of support.

The wall on which the mural can be found has been plastered with English flags and messages praising the team’s efforts, and condemning racism.

Hundreds of people flocked around the wall well into the evening tonight, including families and young children, all looking to add their own messages of support and praise to the wall decorations, and taking pictures with it. Camera crews have been present throughout, while drones buzzed overhead.

Among the tributes were whole letters and cards that had been written by people across the city, calling the players heroes and stating that the abuse they had received did not represent the country at large.

Numerous quotes from figures like Martin Luther King also featured, and among the biggest of the flags being flown was a large English flag emblazoned with the statement ‘Black Lives Matter’.

Posters and letters from local schools have also been put up, and throughout the day, children have been going up to scribble their own messages of pride and support.

These tributes have already been widely circulated throughout social media and the national news, and reportedly moved Rashford himself to tears.

These shows of support have also been praised by numerous politicians, celebrities and athletes as a powerful statement against the racism shown by some football fans. Zarah Sultana, Labour MP for Coventry South, stated on Twitter that it showed racists did not in fact represent the majority.

A Crowdfunder to repair the damaged mural has already raised over £34,000.

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