Sir Alex Ferguson has praised the work of Marcus Rashford after the pair teamed up to tackle child food poverty.
Rashford’s campaigning has resulted in two government U-turns over free school meals for children during the holidays, and in October he was awarded an MBE for his efforts.
Ferguson and billionaire Sir Michael Moritz will match donations of up to £2m as part of an appeal with The Times newspaper.
“You have to be shocked at the number of people who are in need of food,” Ferguson told The Times.
“Marcus has opened the eyes of everyone in Britain. The work he’s done has been fantastic and we’re all so proud of him because of that.
“What Marcus has done is he’s led the way – people will say, ‘That boy he’s only 23 years of age’. People who are in their later ages … should be saying, ‘I can do something’.”
“He should be giving me some advice because what he’s doing at 23 is fantastic for a young person,” Ferguson added. “I’ve no need to tell Marcus because I think there’s humility in the way he lives his life. His feet are on the ground. These are great qualities to carry you through life. Football hasn’t changed him.
“There is a danger in football that it can change people, money can change people, stardom can change people. Getting a celebrity position in life can sometimes be a problem because not everyone can carry success well. And at the moment Marcus is doing that very, very well.”