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
Andy Burnham wants to help more girls get into football
Andy Burnham has urged schools to do more to encourage young girls to get into football.
The Greater Manchester Mayor was speaking to Sky News‘ Kay Burley on Thursday, 8 December as he discussed the importance of promoting more women in football and sport, in general.
Burnham said that himself, the FA and notable women’s football advocates like former keeper Karen Bardsley are “determined” to make sure the buzz following the Women’s Euros isn’t just a flash in the pan.
With the England men’s team currently trying to replicate the Lionesses‘ success as they prepare for the quarter-final of the 2022 World Cup, he went on to emphasise the lasting memories football can create on a global scale.
The Mayor went on to say that with the help of schools across the UK, they hope to “make sure that the success the Lionesses had in the summer becomes a permanent legacy”, imploring schools, the sporting community and the nation at large “not let those summer memories fade”.
Insisting that he already feels the heroics of Euro 2022 have already had an impact when it comes to inspiring more girls to get into football.
He said that the uptake among “women in football” since the tournament has been “amazing” but warned educators and parents not to “leave it to chance” and provide the support to make “real change”.
Coins with King Charles III’s face on have officially entered circulation today
The Royal Mint has announced that the first coins to bear the effigy of King Charles III have officially entered circulation today.
In what marks the historic transition from Queen Elizabeth II to King Charles III on the public’s money, following the passing of the former back in September after 70 years on the throne, the first coins to bear The King’s portrait – are 50 pence pieces, and they will start to appear in circulation in Post Offices around the UK from today.
The coins not only bear The King’s face, but are also said to commemorate the life and legacy of the late monarch.
The reverse of the 50 pence features a design that originally appeared on the 1953 Coronation Crown, and includes the four quarters of the Royal Arms depicted within a shield, and in between each shield is an emblem of the home nations – a rose, a thistle, a shamrock, and a leek.
4.9 million 50 pence coins with King Charles III’s face on have been sent to UK Post Offices today.
The coin will first begin being distributing as change when customers make a purchase in store, The Royal Mint explains, before a total of 9.6 million 50ps eventually enter circulation in line with the public demand for them.
“Today marks a new era for UK coinage,” commented Rebecca Morgan, Director of Collector Services at The Royal Mint.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for coin collectors to add to their collections, or start one for the first time. We anticipate a new generation of coin collectors emerging, with people keeping a close eye on their change to try and spot a new 50p that bears the portrait of our new King.
“The Royal Mint has been trusted to make coins bearing the Monarch’s effigy for over 1,100 years and we are proud to continue this tradition into the reign of King Charles III.”
Also speaking as the coins enter circulation today, Nick Read – Chief Executive Office of the Post Office – said: “It is a tremendous honour for the Post Office that the first coinage featuring King Charles III is being released into circulation via our extensive branch network.
“December is our busiest time of the year so the coin will be entering our network in a phased manner.
“If you don’t receive the new 50p in your change on your first visit to a Post Office, you may well get it in your change in a subsequent visit, so keep a look out for it.”
All approximately 27 billion UK coins with Queen Elizabeth II’s face on will remain legal tender and in active circulation, and will eventually be replaced over time as they become damaged or worn and to meet demand for new coins.