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Marcus Rashford's mother 'missed meals so her children could eat'

‘Sometimes we didn’t even have a loaf of bread in the house’: Marcus Rashford’s mother speaks for the first time about the struggles she faced trying to feed her family

  • Rashford’s mother sometimes went without food to ensure children could eat 
  • Manchester United star joined Melanie Maynard to speak about experiences
  • She said she was ’embarrassed’ to say they sometimes didn’t have a loaf of bread
  • He forced a Government U-turn on free school meal vouchers over the summer

The mother of footballer Marcus Rashford revealed today that she would sometimes go without food to ensure her children could eat despite working three jobs.

The Manchester United star and food poverty campaigner joined his mother Melanie Maynard to speak about their experiences for an interview with BBC Breakfast.

She said: ‘I had three jobs and if I didn’t do that we wouldn’t have been able to cook a pot of food, it’s just a bit difficult.

Marcus Rashford and his mother Melanie Maynard are interviewed on BBC Breakfast today

Ms Maynard revealed she would sometimes go without food to ensure her children could eat

‘So Marcus is only telling the story from how he sees it and the words he has been saying come from the bottom of his heart.

‘Sometimes it was really bad, I’d rather give the food to the kids than give it to myself, sometimes I didn’t get anything to eat.

‘Sometimes we didn’t even have a loaf of bread in the house, it’s embarrassing to say, but we didn’t.’

The 23-year-old England player forced a Government U-turn on free school meal vouchers over the summer holidays. 

Rashford (centre) as a child with his mother Ms Maynard. He had two brothers – Dwaine Maynard and Dane Rashford, although it is unclear which one is pictured with him, right

Rashford (left) began living in digs aged 11 with the Manchester United FC academy

He said: ‘All the little struggles and the sacrifices that you made, it helps you appreciate everything like 10 times more, so I don’t see it as a weakness.

‘I think in sport you have to have something behind you that is pushing you. When you come from a place of struggle and pain, a lot of the time it switches and it becomes your drive and motivation.’

When Rashford was 11, Ms Maynard asked the Manchester United academy to sign him a year early.

Ms Maynard said: ‘They took him in digs. It’s sad to say, but he went in digs at the age of 11. But it’s the best thing that could have happened to him.’ 

Rashford visiting FareShare Manchester at New Smithfield Market with Ms Maynard in October

Rashford and Ms Maynard at FareShare in October which is naming a warehouse in her honour

Rashford said: ‘I missed playing football in the house. I did, because when I moved you have to change the way you behave because I probably wasn’t quite as comfortable as I was at home.’

Ms Maynard added: ‘It wasn’t easy. But I just knew what would happen if he was just left out there on the street.’

The programme filmed the pair as they travelled with BBC Breakfast’s Sally Nugent to food charity FareShare, where it was revealed a new unit would be named Melanie Maynard House.

The full interview was shown on BBC Breakfast this morning and Marcus Rashford: Feeding Britain’s Children is on BBC One next Monday, December 21 from 7pm

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