Marcus Rashford has done more to combat child poverty in the UK than any politician has in the last 25 years, according to a councillor who believes the Manchester United forward should be awarded Freedom of the City.

The 22-year-oldsuccessfully lobbied the government to provide free meals for underprivileged children during the summer holidays and criticised politicians this week for voting against extending the policy through until the Easter holidays next year.

Despite the upset, Rashford found support from various businesses offering to step up and provide free meals, whileit was announced this month that the England international will be honoured with an MBE because of his campaigning.

As well as nationwide acclaim, councillorJohn Leech believes the striker’s hometown should reward his activism by awarding him the Freedom of Manchester.

“I wonder whether we ought to be looking to better reflect the diversity of the city, and whether or not there are people from other backgrounds who ought to be recognised for their contributions to the city,” he told nomination committee, as quoted by Manchester Evening News.

“For example one of those people that have been mentioned in recent months has been Marcus Rashford.

“Despite being a Manchester City fan, I think Marcus Rashford has probably done more to highlight and raise the issue of child poverty in the last six months than any politician has managed in the last 25 years.”

Rashford’s devotion to the cause has earned him a lot of praise from big names across the Premier League, including Red Devils team-mate Juan Mata, who urged him to ignore critics who tell him to stay silent and focus on football.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he is “proud” of the attacker for his “absolutely incredible” work and Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says he “deserves credit” for speaking up about the issue.

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