A vandalized mural of Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has become a symbol of love and solidarity after tons of well-wishers covered it with anti-racism messages. The mural was defaced after England lost the Euro 2020 final to Italy. Police are investigating the incident as a racist one.
The founder of the community art project, Ed Willard covered the graffiti on the day of the incident. He returned a day after to repair the damage. Since the repair has been complete, the mural has been blessed by thousands of visitors that have left flags, notes, and banners voicing their support for Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford.
“There’s been an outpouring of kind of love and solidarity and it’s really heartening,” Willard said. “It’s a lovely thing, isn’t it? I watched the footage with my friends and saw those penalties being missed and all I felt was empathy and compassion for those young men, they’ve done themselves proud, on and off the pitch.”
“I wanted it covered before the kids went to school. No one should be seeing that,” he added. “We’ve got politicians that are trying to divide us, we need to come together. That team came under criticism from our Government for taking the knee. So clearly at the very top, we need to address that kind of attitude. We had the MP from Dover, Elphicke, criticizing Rashford. That’s not acceptable.”
Rashford has since acknowledged the love and support he has received since the Euro 2020 final. He revealed that the response to his mural has had him in tears.
“The messages I have received today have been positively overwhelming and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears.” he tweeted. “The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up. I’m Marcus Rashford, 23 years old, black man, from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester.”