Jurgen Klopp has hailed what Marcus Rashford is doing to tackle child poverty and said the importance of his tireless work transcends the traditional rivalry between his side Liverpool and Manchester United.
Rashford forced the government into a U-turn in July when he won his battle to ensure free meals during the summer holidays. He last week proposed extending the campaign for families receiving financial assistance from the UK government into the Christmas holidays.
The Labour Party had urged Conservative MPs to back the proposals, which could see an additional 1.5 million children aged between seven and 16 years old receive extra support out of term time.
But MPs voted 322 to 261 against the Labour motion which would have extended free school meals over the holidays until Easter 2021. Following the vote, Rashford urged politicians to unite and protect the most vulnerable families and vowed to continue his campaign.
Now, businesses and councils across England are offering free meals to stop children going hungry with Rashford highlighting those providing help.
“What Marcus has started is incredible, it’s so nice,” Klopp said. “With all the rivalry between the clubs and stuff like this, we are, in these moments, as footballers, as human beings, united.
Shaka Hislop is “proud” of Marcus Rashford for challenging the UK government to extend its free school meal program.
“It’s nice to show in a time when a lot of people who are really in charge of something and don’t show any sign of leadership, a boy, who grew up in difficult circumstances [and] blessed with a sensational talent, obviously, but never forgot his roots and where he’s come from. But he has to do it — it’s a bit of a shame, but it’s wonderful as well.
“And so I hope his parents are really proud of him. I don’t know him but it’s really an absolutely wonderful, wonderful thing. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want the praise, but now he’s a role model for that. It’s absolutely great.”
There is little love lost between Liverpool and Manchester United, but Klopp feels Rashford’s work has seen that rivalry put aside due to the admiration for what the England striker is doing.
“It just shows people can do wondrous things, and it shows the subject is serious which is why everybody puts the rivalry aside and just thinks about the more important things in life and I’m really happy we can show solidarity in these moments.”