Marcus Rashford has paid tribute to Manchester United’s academy coaches, revealing without their support it would have been “impossible” for him make it through to the first team.
The 23-year-old grew up just five miles away from Old Trafford in Wythenshawe and has gone on to become an integral part of both the United team and the England squad.
Rashford’s campaign to end child food poverty has seen his profile raised on and off the field, awarded an MBE during October in the delayed Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Speaking to the latest edition of the Official Manchester United Podcast, Rashford recalled how grateful he will always be to the coaches who helped make sure he could get to training during what was a difficult time for his family.
“I’m going back to the very beginning here, but Eamon Mulvey, Tony Whelan, Dave Bushell – without those guys I would never have managed to get through, it was just impossible,” Rashford said.
“There were a few times when I would miss training because my mum had worked late and my brothers were working, my sisters both had babies and there was just no way of me getting there.
“I remember missing training a few times and I just used to sit at home crying. I used to always stop before she (his mother Melanie) would come home.
“She used to come home at the same time, but one time she came home early and she caught me crying in the front room.
“And that’s when I told her and she was the one who said to United: ‘We are going to need some form of help’ in order for me to get there.
“They are the people who got drivers for me. They made it possible that I could get to training. As a kid that was all that I wanted. This was at like eight, nine years old.
“So, (without that support) I wouldn’t have even got to the situation of moving into digs and stuff. I wouldn’t have been there. I would have been doing something else.”
United host Leeds in the Premier League on Sunday looking to keep up their push for the top four.
Despite their shortcomings this season, which included failing to qualify for the knock-out stages of the Champions League, Rashford feels Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side is “capable of winning big trophies”.
Rashford added: “I feel like we are close, but we are not quite there.
“We just need to make that final push to be a team that can win trophies and fight for everything.
“In the big games, we go toe-to-toe with any team and we know that we can do it.
“We have confidence on the pitch that we can beat them, whether it is Liverpool, (Manchester) City, PSG (Paris St Germain) against the big teams we show that we can go head-to-head and give them a game.
“The players know that, the manager knows that. We are just so close to that bit when you are winning trophies, but for me the sooner we get to that, the better.
“There is nothing bigger than winning the Premier League or the Champions League – that is what the dream is.”