Marcus Rashford

Rashford and Groenen receive PFA Community Champions award

Thursday 06 August 2020 14:00

Marcus Rashford and Jackie Groenen have won the PFA’s Community Champion award for their on-going support for Manchester United Foundation and the wider community.

The award aims to raise awareness of the great support both PFA members have given Manchester United Foundation over the 2019/20 season. 

Marcus was nominated for the award after taking part in a number of Foundation initiatives. He spent time with fans suffering with life-limiting illnesses at Dream Day earlier in the season, as well as visiting young children at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital over the festive period. 

Marcus has also been applauded for his charitable efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic, working in partnership with FareShare to supply meals to millions of vulnerable people across the UK and campaigning against child poverty. In recognition for his achievements he became the youngest-ever recipient of an honorary degree from The University of Manchester.
Jackie receives her award from the PFA.
In response to winning the award, Marcus said: "I'm thrilled to have won the PFA Community Champion award in what has been a very important season for me, both on and off the pitch. Over the years I've seen first-hand the positive impact the Foundation has across Greater Manchester; I even attended one of their football projects when I was younger. 

"Building on those childhood experiences is a big reason why I've been so passionate about the campaign this year to try and tackle child poverty, which I know will make a big difference to many young people the Foundation works with on a daily basis."

United Women’s midfielder Jackie Groenen has also had an immediate impact this season. As the first overseas Women’s team player, Jackie has connected with fans on and off the pitch and used her profile to contribute to the local community.  

This season Jackie has visited the Girls’ Regional Talent Club (RTC) on a number of occasions, coaching and inspiring young female footballers. Jackie also visited young fans at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital over the festive period and regularly engages with fans and mascots on a matchday. At the beginning of the year Jackie also became an ambassador for the Johan Cruyff Foundation, which supports and develops sports activities for children all over the world.
When presented with the award, Jackie said: "It's an honour to win this award in my first year at Manchester United. It's been great to see the incredible work of the Foundation in the community, especially in regards to girls' football and I've enjoyed sharing my experiences with some of their aspiring young footballers. 

“As players, it’s so important to give back and to be a good role model for young people. I’m just really happy I could be involved and do my bit to help inspire the next generation.”

John Hudson, director of corporate social responsibility at the PFA, said: “The PFA believes that players who make that extra effort and contribution during the season should be recognised for their support and involvement in the local community. 

“The award will hopefully raise awareness of the great contribution and importance many of our members attach to their roles off the pitch. We would like to offer our congratulations to this season’s recipients of the 2019/20 PFA Community Champion Award.”