School pupils get Marcus Rashford mural in thank you for campaign work

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A mural of Marcus Rashford has been painted on the side of a school after he was chosen as the subject by kids who wanted to thank him for his campaigning work.

The image – based on a photo by Paul Cooper – was sprayed on to the side of Gainsborough Primary School in West Ham, east London, on Monday by artist Josh Colwell of MurWalls, a company that produces football-themed street art.

It was gifted by a recruitment agency that works with the school, and teachers consulted kids about what they would like the art to depict.

Marcus Rashford east London mural
The image has been painted on the side of Gainsborough Primary School in West Ham (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Marc Silver, founder of MurWalls, told the PA news agency: “It was a majority which came back and said that they want to do a thank you message to Marcus Rashford for all the help that he’s done supporting the food banks and the meal tickets and everything during Covid.”

Rashford’s campaigning last year led to a U-turn by the Government, meaning eligible children continued to receive free school meals during the holidays.

The Manchester United and England forward was chosen by the children despite having no connection to the area.

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Mr Silver said:

“People just respect him as a person, that he stood up to the Government, he stood up for what he believes in and he helped support and change people’s lives up and down the country.”

It is the latest example of an increasing number of murals around the country, many of which celebrate local football teams.

Marcus Rashford east London mural
Kids at the school chose Marcus Rashford to say thank you for his campaign work (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

MurWalls recently produced pieces to honour Liverpool legends Ian St John and Ray Clemence, among others.

“It’s definitely a growing trend and we’ve got to thank people like Banksy really because he’s put street art on the map,” Mr Silver said.

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“It’s been around for years – cavemen were doing it – but essentially, you know, it was done illegally.
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“There’s some really talented people out there that just want to express themselves and now they’re getting the opportunity to paint them on walls and getting paid for it.”

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