Marcus Rashford mural messages of support to be preserved

  • Published
Media caption,
Rashford mural tributes: 'Something beautiful out of something negative'

Messages of support and solidarity left on the mural of footballer Marcus Rashford will be preserved.

Hundreds of heartfelt notes were placed on the artwork in Withington, Manchester, which was defaced following England's Euro 2020 final defeat.

The street artist Akse, who created the portrait, has now repaired the damage.

Ed Wellard, who commissioned the mural, said a final decision had yet to be made but the notes would be "retained, recorded and if possible displayed".

Mr Wellard, who is the co-founder of Withington Walls, added that "there is a lot of cultural capital there".

The artwork was defaced with several swear words shortly after Rashford missed a penalty, along with Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, in the 3-2 shootout loss on Sunday.

All three players were also targeted with racist abuse on social media following the match.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Hundreds of messages have been left on the mural

Greater Manchester Police launched an investigation after it received a report of racially aggravated damage at the mural at 02:50 BST on Monday.

The force also said it was investigating a social media post which was directed at the England players on Sunday.

A 37-year-old man, from Trafford, has since been arrested on suspicion of an offence under the Malicious Communications Act.

Rashford said he was sorry for missing his penalty, adding that he "wished it had gone differently", and paid tribute to those who added messages to the mural.

The Manchester United forward also said he was "lost for words" as hundreds of people also gathered for an anti-racism demonstration at the mural on Tuesday evening.

People took the knee at the Stand Up to Racism demo and several speakers addressed the 700-strong crowd.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
The mural is painted on the side of the Coffee House Cafe on Copson Street

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