A new mural of Marcus Rashford has appeared in Manchester city centre over the weekend, highlighting the huge amount of abuse the footballer receives online.
Split into two – with one side full of unkind messages and the other spilling over with praise for the footballer, who campaigns tirelessly to improve the lives of Britain’s poorest families – it tells a stark tale of what is deemed acceptable behaviour online today.
The new artwork has been created by Reuben Dangoor, a British artist whose work is heavily influenced by current affairs and his own surroundings, in collaboration with Beats by Dre headphones.
The company, Dangoor said: “wanted to do something to show support for Marcus, who is subject to a huge amount of abuse on social media. At the same time highlighting the positive work he has been doing off the pitch and the impact that it’s had.”
A message reading ‘Form is temporary, class is permanent’ stretches across the bottom of the artwork, with Marcus depicted in the centre with his eyes shut and his ears plugged with wireless headphones.
Behind him swarm hundreds of yellow, orange and red emoji-style reactions, a mixture of smiling and angry faces, thumbs up and hearts, alongside positive and negative messages stylised as Twitter replies.
It isn’t clear if these are real replies the footballer has received, or if they are merely inspired by them.
Negative messages like “You don’t deserve to wear the shirt”, “you play like a child” and “stick to football” dominate one side of the mural (and serve as a stark reminder of the unsolicited abuse Rashford and many other public figures face online every day).
On the other side of the mural, there are overwhelming messages of positivity. One says simply “Replying to @MarcusRashford Let’s go Rashy”, whilst another says: “Replying to @MarcusRashford Proud to have you represent the shirt.”
Another, acknowledging the footballer’s book club and the work he’s done to encourage young people to read, says: “Replying to @MarcusRashford Thank you. Cos of you my son has started reading.”
Marcus Rashfod has previously reported the racist abuse he has received on social media to the police.
He regularly receives tides of racist and abusive messaging online, and this seems to get even worse when Manchester United loses a match, reporting at least 70 different abusive messages after his team’s 2021 Europa League loss – including one from a teacher.
Sharing his concept sketches on Instagram today alongside the finished piece, mural artist Reuben gave followers a peek behind the scenes at what his process was when designing the new Marcus Rashford mural for Manchester.
He wrote: “First one was the final last one is my best work to date.”
Reuben Dangoor has previously painted portraits of Stormzy, Skepta and Dizzee Rascal, and debuted these at the Tate Britain Museum for his debut exhibition ‘Legends of the Scene’.
It’s also not his first rendezvous drawing footballers, having had his line drawings of the England football squad picked up in both TV and print in 2018. His viral drawing of Gareth Southgate was later acquired by the Southgate family.
He has had his work featured in Design Museum’s Sneaker Exhibition, was the first artist to collaborate on the new Adidas Predators, is collaborating with Arlo Parks on her world tour campaign and merchandise, and has worked alongside David Beckham to design an exclusive in-game “David Beckham” kit for FIFA 22, released last month.
Find the mural over on the border of Shudehill and the Northern Quarter by the old fish market.
Feature image – The Manc Group
Ancoats restaurant publicly exposes ‘angry influencer’ after spat over free meal
A restaurant in Ancoats has publicly exposed an influencer (twice…) who tried to ask for a free meal in exchange for exposure.
Lucky Ramen, a tiny spot on Blossom Street that has had queues forming for its noodle soups and Asian brunches, has become embroiled in a spat with an unnamed social media star.
It all started yesterday when the restaurant went public with a message it had received, which was requesting a complimentary brunch in exchange for a post on Instagram.
Lucky Ramen shared the message and wrote that they were ‘thrilled you appreciate our food’ but that the team ‘appreciate paying customers even more’.
They described it as ‘another thrilling DM from a blue tick superstar asking for a free feast in exchange for an Insta post’.
Which was already dramatic enough, but the influencer in question has been quite cross that Lucky Ramen in Ancoats has taken a swipe at them publicly.
It appears they’ve followed up with a much less polite message, saying the independent business is ‘bang out of order’ for trying to expose them.
The influencer asked: “So you think people like us don’t deserve to eat for FREE???”
They argued that they were trying to promote the restaurant for free, offering ‘time, labour, effort and positive energy’ in exchange for the free meal as compensation.
The unnamed user then said: “Your arrogance makes me sick. Haha very funny, you got a couple of giggles but we’re the ones that are laughing.
“We go where we want, eat what we want and lastly – it’s all for free! WHOS LAUGHING NOW???”
Of course, Lucky Ramen hasn’t left that message in the DMs either, once again sharing screenshots on its Instagram page.
And they’ve chosen to smack the influencer with pure sarcasm in retaliation…
They wrote: “Dear angry influencer. Okay, aaalright… you got us! We’re truly sorry for attempting to uncover your behind-the-scenes tactics yesterday and, you know, us trying to make a living and sh*t.
“But hold on, the new message we just got deserves more than a standing ovation!
“This follow-up DM is a total game-changer, and guess what? We’re now rolling out the red carpet for all the free meals you desire. And that’s not all – our chefs are ready to part ways with their Crocs and Birkenstocks, throwing them in as an extra bonus for your tender love and labour! Even my dad’s medal of honour from the Japan war is up for grabs – he’s feeling generous the old geezer, and he’s even contemplating wheeling in his new eco-friendly hybrid wheelchair for you!
“Just hit us up with another DM, let us know when you’re swinging by to collect your well-deserved goodies, and don’t forget to leave a glowing 5-star review on both Google and TripAdvisor.
“We appreciate your understanding and, once again, sorry for the “inconvenience” we caused.
“Bon appétit + Arigato-the-f*ck-outta-here.”
Will the influencer reply again? Someone pass the popcorn.
‘Dangerous’ disqualified driver jailed after crashing into funfair in Wigan
A “dangerous” disqualified driver has been handed jail time after crashing into a funfair in Wigan last year.
Jordan O’Reilly, from Platt Bridge in Wigan, has been sentenced after pleading guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, driving without insurance, perverting the course of justice, and failing to provide a specimen.
The 21-year-old was given three years behind bars following a trial at Bolton Crown Court yesterday (29 February).
O’Reilly’s sentencing comes after he crashed his vehicle into a funfair in Wigan while trying to evade a police pursuit back in October 2023.
#JAILED I A disqualified driver who led police on a chase and crashed into a crowded funfair in #Wigan has been jailed for 3 years
After failing to stop for a Greater Manchester Police (GMP) patrol, O’Reilly then drove in excess of the speed limit and overtook a number of vehicles, all before proceeding to abandon his own moving vehicle to escape.
The vehicle O’Reilly abandoned then carried on moving, and shockingly, ended up colliding with two members of the public at the funfair – with one woman sadly left with “serious injuries” as a result.
But thanks to the help of members of the public, O’Reilly was identified as the driver and later arrested by police.
A ‘dangerous’ disqualified driver has been jailed after crashing into funfair in Wigan / Credit: GMP
After he was released on bail, it was established that he had attempted to engage others into assisting him in evading prosecution.
Speaking following O’Reilly’s sentencing this week, PC Wood, of GMP Transport Unit, commented: “O’Reilly’s disregard to his driving disqualification and actions behind the wheel that day were reckless and dangerous, and he put countless people at risk of harm. The injuries caused to the victim show the consequences dangerous driving has on other people.
“GMP would like to thank the members of the public who ensured that O’Reilly faced justice for his actions.”
PC Wood also took a moment to remind the Greater Manchester public that if they know someone who is driving whist dangerously, or while disqualified or unfit to be doing so, then they should report it to GMP.