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Marcus Rashford is the guest-editor and star of a new Beano comic

The 24-year-old footballer wants young readers to "embrace their differences", and celebrate "all the things that make us unique".

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 27th July 2022

Is there anything Marcus Rashford can’t do?

Of course, we all know the Wythenshawe-born Manchester United and England star has been making a name for himself on the football pitch and scoring impressive goals since he was a teenager, but it has been his ongoing work off the field to end child food poverty, stand up against the government, challenge racism and prejudice, inspire people across the globe, and ultimately give a voice to the voiceless that has seen him really shine since 2020.

It’s what earned him thousands of new fans, countless accolades, and an MBE in the process – and now, it’s also what’s seen him take the reins as the guest-editor and star of the Beano.

The 24-year-old footballer has been immortalised in cartoon form on the front cover of the ever-popular children’s comic, and said he “jumped at the chance” to guest-edit a one-off edition too when it was pitched to him.

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Rashford also appears throughout the magazine, and is drawn alongside iconic characters like the Bash Street Kids, Billy Whizz, and Bananaman.

In his special guest-edited edition of the world’s longest-running comic, Rashford makes sure to urge all his young readers to “embrace their differences”, and celebrate “all the things that make us unique”.

He revealed in his editor’s letter that his favourite thing about the Beano is how “brings together all sorts of different children,” adding: “Instead of our differences dividing us, we embrace them here and we find strength in them.

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“Nobody is a success in football without good teammates, and that’s true in life as well.

“Everybody needs to build a team of allies to have fun with and speak up for what’s important. Our voice is strong alone, but when our voices come together, we are powerful. When we fight for things that are important together, we can make progress a lot quicker than by ourselves. Asking for help is no weakness. Asking for help to achieve things quicker is a superpower.

Read more: ‘Why can’t we just do the right thing?’ | Marcus Rashford – Manc of the Month

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“Finding your voice doesn’t have to be difficult. It can be as simple as having the confidence to stand up for something you believe in, or to champion someone else and their difference.

“Your journey is your strength, and everyone has something valuable to contribute.”

The 24-year-old footballer has been immortalised in cartoon form on the front cover of the children’s comic / Credit: Beano

The special edition of Beano celebrates the launch of Rashford’s new book, You Can Do It: How to Find Your Voice and Make a Difference, which has been co-written with Carl Anka and published by Macmillan Children’s Books. 

The special guest editorship is also part of NatWest’s Thrive programme – created in partnership with Rashford and the National Youth Agency – and aims to help six-16 year olds become more financially confident and realise their full potential through a series of interactive group workshops and peer-to-peer sessions. 

For each copy of the special edition sold, 20p will be donated to the Marcus Rashford Book Club to help children access books.

Featured Image – Beano