Troy Deeney hails Marcus Rashford for free school meals campaign and changing public's opinion of footballers

Simon Collings
·2-min read
PA
PA

Watford captain Troy Deeney has hailed Marcus Rashford’s work to ensure children have free school meals, and believes the Manchester United striker is changing people’s opinions of footballers.

Rashford successfully campaigned to extend free school meals this summer, prompting the Government to make a U-turn on the issue.

The 22-year-old has since fought for children to have free school meals during half term, but the Government rejected the motion last week.

A petition backing the campaign for free school meals to be offered over the holidays now has nearly 900,000 signatures, while Rashford is sharing messages on Twitter from local businesses that have pledged to support his initiative.

(PA)
(PA)

The work has now been praised by Deeney, who confessed he relied on free school meals growing up, and he has also praised Rashford for changing how the country views footballers.

Deeney told talkSPORT Breakfast: “I’m from that environment. Obviously free school meals was a massive part of what got me, my brothers and sisters through school up until an age where you start looking after yourself. For me that was like 13 or 14.

“I had to rely on help and you do. We all need help in some capacity. I think more importantly when you look at the new generation of footballer now that’s coming through, you highlight Sterling and Rashford, but there’s so many more now.

“So many people used to tarnish footballers with, and still do to an extent, with ‘they are stupid, they are selfish, they are overpaid’ and all these different things.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“It’s finally nice to see people actually saying ‘look at the human being behind that footballer’. We are all humans, we all have emotions and we all make mistakes.

“When you look at the way this is all going now, Marcus has pushed the envelope to where the government is going to have to do something.

“That is the most powerful thing you can see nowadays. Your social media following, your presence and your actions can actually dictate to what the government has to do.

“I tip my hat to him. Everyone at talkSPORT here is right behind him and anything we can all do to help him I’m sure we will do in our own capacity.”

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