School in Stratford unveils mural tribute to Marcus Rashford
- Credit: MurWalls
A mural tribute to Marcus Rashford has been unveiled at a primary school in Stratford.
Pupils at Gainsborough Primary voted for the footballer's portrait to be sprayed on the building in thanks for his campaign work on free school meals.
Headteacher Lisa Christall said: "The children really wanted to pay tribute to Marcus Rashford for all the incredible work he has done with his campaigning for free school meals during lockdown and the school holidays.
"I can't thank him enough. This has really helped our families."
Almost a third of the primary's 260 children receive a free meal each day because they come from families struggling to get by on low incomes or benefits.
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The Manchester United forward is campaigning to end child food poverty; a petition started by Rashford urging the government to expand access to free school meals gained more than a million signatures.
Rebekah Iiyambo, chief executive of Eko Trust which runs the school, said: "We know without his involvement, our children might not have had the food they needed during the pandemic.
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"It is great for them to see his face every morning as they enter the school and be reminded of what he achieved.
"It is going to really inspire them to do great things in their own lives."
It took two days for graffiti artists from street art firm MurWalls to spray paint Rashford's portrait, which is based on an image taken by Manchester-based photographer Paul Cooper.
MurWalls founder Marc Silver said: "We started by searching for a poignant portrait of him which reflected the character that he is: a pioneer and advocate for families, someone who stands up to the government."
Artist Josh Colwell, whose tag is JXC, scaled up the photo on the wall before layering up 30 different shades of colour across the 13 by nine-foot surface to produce Rashford's likeness.
Rebekah commented: "It blew me away when I saw it."
Lisa added: "Everybody is amazed by it. The children think the artwork is incredible."
A quote from Rashford, to be added to the work, reads: "These children matter. These children are the future of the country, not just another statistic.
"For as long as they don't have a voice, they will have mine."
The mural was commissioned by JDS Recruitment, which provides supply staff to the school.