Book-ish in Crickhowell has started a crowdfunding campaign for Marcus Rashford’s book, You Are A Champion, to be given to children in local schools across the Vale of Glamorgan, the Welsh Valleys, South Powys and Monmouthshire.
With £4,000.00 raised by the crowdfund to date, Book-ish have already made enough money to give out 800 b0oks to schools in deprived areas around Wales. The campaign follows a surge in positive, inspirational stories countering the racist abuse aimed at the young English football players – including Rashford – following their missed penalties at the Euro 2020 final.
Rashford’s book, You Are A Champion features inspirational stories from Rashford’s own life from his path to professional football to his incredible campaign to end child food poverty. Emma Corfield-Walters, the owner of Book-ish, told The Bookseller:
“Especially on the back of everything that’s happened with the Euros we just thought [Rashford’s] whole story is really inspirational and I wouldn’t want the fact that they didn’t win to blight that. All of the good work that he’s done needs to be at the fore of everything now and all of the conversations that we have because he’s just an inspirational figure.”
“Although the bookshop isn’t necessarily in an area that has a huge amount of child poverty, we are absolutely ringed by it, being literally five miles away from Ebbw Vale which has one of the highest levels of child poverty in the UK.”
“My plan is to try and get something along the lines of 1,500 books into the schools because we’ve got some really big secondary schools and I know that one of them are having an intake of 290 pupils just in Year 7 so it would be amazing to be able to give those 290 pupils a book on their first day of secondary school to inspire them throughout that year. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to really increase that target. Early signs are that we might.”
Responding to both the racist backlash and outpouring of support received following the Euro 2020 final, Rashford shared a moving message on Twitter, saying:
“I can take critique of my performance all day long, my penalty was not 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 those three lions on my chest and seeing my family cheer me on in a crowd of 10s of thousands.