The Manchester kid who has become Marcus Rashford’s hero

Marcus Rashford has been called a role model for his work feeding hungry children during the pandemic.

But now, the Manchester United star has his own hero: Eight-year-old Stanley Heaton.

Inspired by the footballer’s work battling child poverty, Stanley decided to try and collect food and toys for children who needed them most.

He’s ended up with hundreds of items.

Rashford paid tribute to Stanley on social media this week – sharing a video of the lad stood in a living room packed with donations from neighbours.

The tweet is captioned: “Stanley, you are my hero.”

Stanley began his own little campaign by writing letters to people in the local area – asking them to donate whatever they could to help other kids less fortunate than himself.

Talking to That’s TV Manchester, Stanley said: “The reason why I did this was because I’d seen Marcus Rashford on the tele saying he wanted school dinners to be free and I agree with that. But lots of people weren’t letting him… weren’t supporting that.

“So, I said to my mum: ‘What can we do about it?’

“I came up with an idea and said: ‘Can we write a letter to the neighbours to see if they’d donate any food?'”

Rashford – whose work has seen him decorated with numerous awards, an honorary degree from the University of Manchester, and an MBE from the Queen – launched a fresh campaign in October asking for more government help.

The petition accrued one million signatures in just two weeks, calling on leaders to provide meals and activities during all holidays; increase the value of Healthy Start vouchers to at least £4.25 per week, and expand free school meals to all under 16s.

The petition was voted down in the House of Commons, but Rashford insisted he would continue fighting – having already convinced the government to extend free school meals across summer after initial rejection.

Now, the footballer also has Stanley in his corner…

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