Marcus Rashford has won the Premier League Academy Graduate award for the 2019/20 season after playing an inspirational role on and off the ...
Marcus Rashford has won the Premier League Academy Graduate award for the 2019/20 season after playing an inspirational role on and off the pitch.
The 22-year-old Manchester United forward is the second recipient of the accolade, after Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold was named the inaugural winner last season.
The Academy Graduate award has been created to recognise players aged 23 or under who have made the successful transition from the Academy to the Premier League.
It is awarded to individuals who excel in their on-pitch performances and who, away from the pitch, are inspirational role models for future generations of Premier League players.
"On behalf of the Academy, it's obviously a massive step up to get into Man Utd's first team, and it's one that all the young kids are prepared to make because of the way the coaches coach them," Rashford said.
"It's definitely a big achievement and, like Mason [Greenwood] has done this year, and Brandon [Williams], hopefully there will be more who come through."
On the pitch, Rashford enjoyed the best goalscoring season of his career to date, netting 17 Premier League goals as Man Utd finished third and secured qualification for the UEFA Champions League.
Role in the community
The England international also made a significant contribution away from first-team football through his community work.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rashford has been working with the charitable food distributor network FareShare, helping to raise more than £20million in donations.
This support has enabled 3.7 million meals to be supplied to vulnerable people across the United Kingdom each week.
Neil Saunders, the Premier League's Head of Youth, said: "We have watched with great pride the success Marcus has had on the pitch, excelling in both the Premier League and for England.
"We have been truly inspired however, as has the entire country, with the important role he is playing within the community, helping to protect the wellbeing of children in need.
"Marcus is a great role model for aspiring young footballers, and a fantastic ambassador for Manchester United, the Academy, and for the Academy System as a whole."