Marcus Rashford vows to reach children who have never owned book | Marcus Rashford


The footballer and anti-poverty campaigner Marcus Rashford has vowed to reach hundreds of thousands of children who have never owned a book, before the publication of his own.

Posing with a picture of You Are a Champion: How To Be the Best You Can Be, Rashford tweeted: “Here it is! ‘YOU are a Champion’. A guide that I hope will inspire ALL children to dream big and help those who need it most.”

The book, published on 27 May, is aimed at children and teens, and is billed as an “inspiring, positive and practical guide”.

Written in collaboration with the journalist Carl Anka and the performance psychologist Katie Warriner, the book draws on stories from Rashford’s own life to show readers that “success is all about the mindset” and promises to reveal “how positive thinking can change your life, build mental resilience, learn how to navigate adversity and discover the unstoppable power of your own voice”.

Each chapter of the book will begin with a story from Rashford’s own life and cover topics such as the value of education, positive mentality, understanding culture and female role models.

In November, Rashford announced he was launching a book club and his own range of literature in 2021 with the aim of giving children from lower socio-economic backgrounds the opportunity to embrace reading from an early age. Two of his own fiction titles, for readers aged seven and up, will followlater this year and next.

Tweeting a picture of the book, Rashford – whose campaigning on child food poverty led to a government U-turn on free meals – said as part of the model, he was aiming to “reach the most vulnerable children via the breakfast club network”.

He said: “Approx 390,000 children in the UK have never owned a book. Time for that to change.”

The Manchester United and England striker has signed a deal with Macmillan Children’s Books to promote reading and literacy among children from all backgrounds, and has previously talked about his own lack of access to books as a child.

Rashford said: “There were times where the escapism of reading could have really helped me. I want this escapism for all children. Not just those that can afford it.”

In the summer, research by the National Literacy Trust found that last year only 26% of under-18s spent time reading each day – the lowest daily level recorded since the charity first surveyed children’s reading habits in 2005.

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