Rashford named MUDSA's Player of the Year
Marcus Rashford is the recipient of the Manchester United Disabled Supporters’ Association (MUDSA) 2022/23 Player of the Year award.
Our no.10 - who has had a stellar season - was handed his trophy by MUDSA secretary Chas Banks MBE and MUDSA Family Events organiser Ann-Marie Lewis, at a special event at Old Trafford on Wednesday 17 May.
The member-voted award has been issued to the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Robin van Persie and Juan Mata, among others, over the years.
Speaking at the event, Banks explained why Marcus is the worthy winner of the award, and the importance of giving MUDSA members the opportunity to meet their heroes.
"Absolutely sensational," Banks said of our no.10. "I was talking to him and he was telling me that he's had some muscle issues and it's just the pace, the speed that he moves, that it's difficult because he played so many games.
"He's played through pain at times.
"Marcus, from his background, he understands these kids. A lot of these kids, he’s seen them, he’s lived among them. And it means a lot to him, there's no question.
"It's very hard to find the words to describe how much it means. I mean, we've got some people in here who won't be around next year. We've got some young kids who are going through tremendous difficulties in their life and to see their heroes up close [is great] and, you know, they’re such lovely lads.
"They've had a busy year and they've given up the time to come down here and they’re walking around the tables and they've gone to every table. Every kid that wanted an autograph has got one. Every kid that wanted a picture has got one. It's beyond value."
INSIDE A SPECIAL DAY
Since 1989, MUDSA has held an annual Christmas Party, where members get the opportunity to meet United players, pose for pictures and receive autographs.
In 2022, due to the winter World Cup, it did not happen and was rescheduled for May instead.
On Wednesday, the event took place at Old Trafford with members of Erik ten Hag’s squad going around every single table to ensure they met the members who were present.
Along with hospitality, which was laid on in the club’s Manchester Suite, eager fans got the opportunity to meet their heroes and were also treated to a Q&A with former kit-man Albert Morgan, who worked in Sir Alex Ferguson’s staff for nearly three decades.
Making magical memoriesGallery
These images of Reds meeting our Disabled Supporters' Association at Old Trafford are sure to put a smile on your face.
Rashford, Harry Maguire, Casemiro, Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw are just some of the Reds who were seen chatting to supporters, getting photographs and sharing conversations.
For Casemiro, it was his first time at a MUDSA event, and the Brazilian was full of smiles as he made his way around the room, greeting fans of all ages.
Scott McTominay – recipient of MUDSA’s Player of the Year award in 2019 - appeared to relish the event, sharing laughs with supporters, as well as sitting and talking with some for extended periods of time.
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Joe, 37, last attended a MUDSA Christmas Party 10 years ago, and was thrilled to have the opportunity once more to meet his favourite players.
“We've been doing this for a while now and it's a great event,” he began. “But this seems like there are more players here this time, which is great. It's great to see everybody.
“You know it's a busy day [for them] because we’ve literally seen them training this morning on Sky Sports. Even more respect for the fact that they're happy to come and take their time out at this crucial point in season and obviously be with us. They make everybody's day, don't they?
“The heart and soul of every good football club is the connection between the fans and the players. When you have these events, that brings that connection back and it brings us close to players and people who we only see on telly. It's just so special, it’s amazing.”
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Bob, 64, shared Joe’s enthusiasm for the event, praising the way the players interacted with our supporters.
“[It’s] fantastic,” he said. “They’re all so friendly.
“It makes it all worth it and they're so pleasant talking to you. It's not too much work for them. And that's what makes all the difference.
“It's very good to keep it a family affair rather than a big business. It's a pleasant thing to have them coming out to speak [to us].”