Marcus Rashford said he is ‘lost for words’ after hundreds gathered for an anti-racism demonstration and took the knee outside his mural this evening.
The artwork in south Manchester was vandalised within hours of England’s crushing defeat against Italy in the Euros final on Sunday night.
But it has quickly become a symbol of love and solidarity after well-wishers covered it in paper hearts, England flags, flowers and poems.
Many left touching messages of support for the football star and teammates Bukayo Saka and Jordan Sancho, after they were subjected to an onslaught of vile racist abuse online after the trio missed penalties in the final moments of the game.
Street artist Akse P19 added the finishing touches to restore the black and white mural, which stands on the side of a cafe in Rashford’s home town Withington.
This evening, hundreds travelled from across Manchester – and as far as Birmingham – to show their solidarity and took the knee in a powerful moment in front of the artwork.
Many held placards displaying anti-racism messages and chanted ‘Black Lives Matter’ in unison, while others continued to add personal messages to the wall.
One demonstrator, echoing Rashford’s own words following the racist abuse he received, told the crowd: ‘We will never apologise for being Black.’