Manchester United star Marcus Rashford is reportedly set to miss out on being named on the shortlist for BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Better known for his exploits on the pitch for United, Rashford has risen to prominence this year through his work off the field highlighting the need to feed children through the Government’s free school meals programme.
Over the summer, Rashford’s actions forced the Government into a u-turn and get an extension to the scheme.
With a difficult winter for families predicted, the 22-year-old called on the Government to continue the provision into half-term and the Christmas holidays.
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The petition was rejected by the Government but in response, local councils and businesses have taken it upon themselves to back Rashford, who has been posting information about the services available on social media.
Rashford’s activism has led to calls for him to be nominated for BBC Sports Personality of the Year, which will take place on December 20.
But the current rules state that a nomination must be based on ‘sporting achievements’.
Unless there is a change in the criteria, Rashford is unlikely to miss out and according to the Daily Mail officials at the BBC are aware of the possible ‘backlash’ they could receive.
Rashford could be in line for the Helen Rollason Award, which awards ‘outstanding achievement in the face of adversity’.
Meanwhile, West Ham joint-chairman David Sullivan has donated £25,000 to towards free meals through the charity Fareshare, which Rashford has been supporting.
Sullivan said: “Marcus Rashford has done such a fantastic job of raising awareness and leading the way in tackling this very important issue, which impacts so many youngsters in our local communities up and down the country.
“It is a privilege to be able to help.
“On a national level, the impact of the Child Food Poverty Taskforce will be huge.
“While closer to home, I’m really proud that the club has been supporting free school meals during school holidays for years now and we have seen what a continued difference it is making in our local community.”