Rashford speaks to ex-US president Obama

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May 28, 2021
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    A split image of Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford (left) and former US President Barack Obama (right) smilingThe Zoom discussion between Marcus Rashford and Barack Obama was organised by Penguin Books and moderated by the BBC's Director of Creative Diversity, June Sarpong

    Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford has spoken to former US President Barack Obama about how young people can impact society.

    Rashford, 23, led a campaign to tackle child food poverty last year during the coronavirus pandemic and was appointed an MBE.

    He has also set up a book club to get disadvantaged children reading more.

    "A lot of the young people I meet – including Marcus – they're ahead of where I was when I was 23," said Obama.

    "They're already making changes and being positive forces in their communities."

    Obama, 59, and Rashford spoke over a video conference and also discussed their shared experiences, including being raised by single mothers.

    Rashford said it was "quite surreal" to speak to the 44th US President while sitting in his kitchen.

    "But, immediately, he made me feel at ease," he added.

    "It wasn't long before I realised just how aligned our experiences as children were in shaping the men you see today – adversity, obstacles and all.

    "I genuinely enjoyed every minute of it. When President Obama speaks, all you want to do is listen."

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