Marcus Rashford mural: Hundreds descend to show support in Stand Up To Racism vigil after vile abuse
HUNDREDS of wellwishers have arrived at Marcus Rashford's mural for a Stand Up To Racism vigil after the England hero was targeted with vile abuse.
The image of the Three Lions ace, which was painted in his childhood hometown of Withington, South Manchester, was daubed with obscenities less than an hour after Sunday night's heartbreaking Euro 2020 defeat.
Swear words and the name 'Saka' were painted across the artwork. Cops are treating the vandalism as hate crime.
But locals have since worked together to cover the abuse with notes dedicated to the champ, who was last year honoured with an MBE for his work to feed hungry kids during the pandemic.
It comes as:
- Mancini's son was forced to watch the first half of the final on Wembley's steps after a ticketless fan stole his seat
- A string of venues have cancelled a comedian's gigs after he tweeted that Rashford 'should have let kids go hungry'
- And a dad-of-two claims he was hacked after a racist tweet about Rashford was posted on his account
- A minister says Priti Patel has suffered 'appalling' racist abuse after she was slammed by an England star
- An F1 star was mugged for his £40k watch at Wembley as fans ran riot
Paper love hearts declaring the Three Lions ace a "hero" and "role model" now cover the cruel messages.
The artwork, which is painted on the wall of Coffee House Café, is now covered with tributes from his many fans.
One message read: "I can take or leave football but I cannot take or leave people like you.
"Thank you for your passion, compassion and desire to change lives."
Another said: "Dear Marcus, please know that you are so admired and people find you an inspiration."
Crowds gathered this evening ahead of the Stand Up to Racism demonstration, which is due to start at 6pm.
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Anti-racism campaigners are holding the rally after England's Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho were targeted with racist abuse online.
In a message last night, Rashford said he has been deeply moved by fans' support.
He said: "I can take critique of my performance all day long, my penalty wasn't good enough, it should have gone in.
"But I will never apologise for who I am and where I came from.
"I've felt no prouder moment than wearing these three lions on my chest and seeing my family cheer me in a crowd of tens of thousands.
"The messages I've received today have been positively overwhelming and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears."
The heroes made three unsuccessful England penalty bids during the nail-biting shootout.
Moments after the game ended, sick racists sent vile messages and monkey emojis over social media.
Prince William, Boris Johnson and Harry Kane are among those to blast the disgusting thugs behind the abuse, while millions of fans have been left deeply shocked.
Rashord shared a letter of support sent by nine-year-old fan Dexter Rosier after his penalty miss.
Thank you for your passion, compassion and desire to change lives.
The schoolboy's letter said: "I hope you won't be sad for too long because you are such a good person.
"Last year you inspired me to help people less fortunate. Then last night you inspired me again, to always be brave.
"I'm proud of you. You will always be a hero."
Susanna Reid struggled with tears on Good Morning Britain as she read the youngster's message aloud.
Breaking off as she struggled not to let her emotions bubble over, she added: "I hope Marcus feels everything that's coming through from this letter and all the messages of support."
The mural was painted in November to honour Rashford's selfless work to feed poverty-stricken kids.
Police have confirmed they're investigating. No arrests have yet been made.
Cops in London are also probing the racist abuse posted on social media.
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