I’ve got 4 grandsons who constantly make me incredibly proud of what they are achieving. You probably think I would say that but I am amazed by how socially conscious they are, with firm views about what they want to achieve and how dedicated they can be. I remember my youth and I was hard working but nothing like as dedicated to achieving something. That came far far later in my life.
But I look at some young people and sigh at their fecklessness and stupidity. And the football community seems to personify this crassness. Everyday we hear about footballers acting irresponsibly, outrageously and with total disregard for the feeling of others. Today Wales manger and footballing hero, Ryan Giggs, was in court to prepare his defence for the most horrible abuse charges against his partner. You question whether so much money and attention is a toxic combination for many young men who simply are poorly educated, mentored and guided.
And then there’s Marcus Rashford who today had a conversation with Barack Obama. I have to say I’m absolutely in awe of this young man, who single-handedly changed our Government’s policy over free school dinners for deserving pupils and has now now led a brilliant campaign to get disadvantaged kids reading books. I just think here’s a young man with every advantage in life now but who refuses to ignore and forget where he came from, a sadly deprived background. He doesn’t pass blame he just wants to do something positive about other kids and families who are in the same position as he was with his family. There’s no showboating, nor celebrity about what he’s doing. He just gets on with his programmes and possibly the most decent and respected international politician of his generation is now offering his support. I mean how proud must his mum feel?
I think next season when crowds return he will be applauded by away fans every game. He is just a modest and magnificent young man who has used his fame and position as a platform to make some brilliantly telling points. And no-one I know has a bad word to say against him. I see sporting people getting knighthoods for being great at what they do but Marcus is already doing that and also doing stuff which transcends his sport and is more important and significant in many peoples’ eyes.
I think this young man deserves to go far.