Marcus Rashford: Hundreds of messages left on mural

People are continuing to leave messages of support and solidarity at the vandalised mural of Marcus Rashford.

The artwork in Withington, Manchester, was defaced following England’s defeat by Italy in the Euro 2020 final.

Rashford said he was “on the verge of tears” when he saw the mural had been covered in supportive messages.

The street artist Akse, who created the mural, has now repaired the damage but it has yet to be decided what will happen to the messages of support.

Withington Walls co-founder Ed Wellard, who commissioned the artwork, said those responsible for the vandalism should be educated not punished.

The mural was defaced shortly after Rashford missed a penalty in the 3-2 shootout loss, along with Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka.

All three players have since been targeted with racist abuse on social media.

Akse repairing the damage
Akse has now repaired the mural after it was vandalised

Rashford tweeted he was sorry for missing his penalty, adding that he “wished it had gone differently” but then paid tribute to those who added messages on the mural.

Greater Manchester Police said an investigation had begun after the force received a report of racially aggravated damage at the site at 02:50 BST on Monday.

Several swear words were daubed across the mural alongside the word “Saka”.

Mr Wellard said he hoped that “something positive might come of it” as people were now “talking about the issue of racism in this country”.

“Active discussions are the way we are going to resolve these issues and think the doors are open to having these discussions now,” he said.

“There’s a lot of solidarity to these players, they’ve been fine role models on and off the pitch.”

Brothers Ezra and Dylan with their dad Tom
Brothers Ezra and Dylan visited the mural with their father Tom, who said Rashford was “a role model for my two boys”

Brothers Ezra and Dylan are among those who added a message of support after being “disgusted” by the vandalism.

“He stood up for kids and he stood up for what he believes in and he has been a role model for my two boys and for a lot of people around the country,” said their father Tom.

“It’s a brave thing to do to step up and take a penalty under all that pressure and it’s very easy to criticise someone from the sidelines.

“We felt awful about what happened. And if you can come and… show your support then that’s a little thing that you can do to make a difference.”

England's Marcus Rashford looks dejected after missing a penalty
Marcus Rashford was one of three England players to miss in the penalty shootout

Source: BBC