EXCLUSIVE: Marcus Rashford's mother jets out to Qatar to support him

EXCLUSIVE: Marcus Rashford’s mother jets out to Qatar to support son’s bid for World Cup glory and console him over death of close friend

  • Melanie Rashford made last-minute decision to fly to Doha this weekend for son 
  • The footballer dedicated his goals against Wales to his friend who died of cancer
  • A source said seeing her son’s tribute made her feel that ‘she must see Marcus’

England star Marcus Rashford’s mother is flying into Qatar to support his bid for World Cup glory and console him over the death of one of close friends, MailOnline can reveal.

Melanie Rashford was so moved by her son paying a public tribute to his mate Garfield Hayward who died of cancer last week, she has made a last-minute decision to fly to Doha this weekend to support him.

After scoring his first goal of two goals against Wales on Tuesday, Rashford fell to his knees and looked upwards in a tribute to his late friend, who died two days before the game after a long battle with cancer.

The TV images have led to Melanie, 56, making a dash to cheer her son on and to see if he can help England progress and help himself to the World Cup golden boot for being the tournament’s top scorer.

Melanie Rashford (pictured) was so moved by her son paying a public tribute to his mate Garfield Hayward who died of cancer last week, she has made a last-minute decision to fly to Doha this weekend to support him

After scoring his first goal of two goals against Wales on Tuesday , Rashford fell to his knees and looked upwards in a tribute to his late friend ‘Garf’

A source close to Melanie in Manchester said: ‘Melanie adores Marcus as she does all her five children.

‘But seeing her son in that moment praying for his friend has made her feel that she must see Marcus and help him through it too.

‘It is very distressing for a mother to see her child so upset but she must have been very proud that he was still able to play for England despite his grief.

‘The Rashford family are very decent, grounded and sensitive people. Marcus’s England success hasn’t changed them. They are close knit and supportive of each other.’

Rashford said of his friend: ‘He’s had quite a long battle with cancer, so I’m pleased I managed to score for him.

‘He’s always been a big supporter of mine. He was just a great person and I’m pleased he came into my life, really.’

Rashford, 25, has also in the past paid tribute to his mother who is known to inspire him in his charitable work for which he received an MBE.

He said: ‘The man you see before you is a product of her [his mother’s] love and care.

A source close to Melanie in Manchester said: ‘Melanie adores Marcus as she does all her five children. But seeing her son in that moment praying for his friend has made her feel that she must see Marcus and help him through it too’ 

Marcus Rashford laughs with his late friend Garfield Hayward (right) and mixed martial arts star Khabib Nurmagomedov (left)

Rashford said: ‘He’s had quite a long battle with cancer, so I’m pleased I managed to score for him. He’s always been a big supporter of mine. He was just a great person and I’m pleased he came into my life, really.’ 

Garfield Hayward (right) died two days before the England vs. Wales game after a long battle with cancer

Marcus Rashford kissed his fiancée Lucia Loi after the match against Wales. His mother Melanie will join Lucia and his brothers at England’s match with Senegal on Sunday evening at the Al-Bayt stadium as the two nations battle for a place in the quarter finals

‘I have friends from the middle class who have never known even a fraction of the love I have had from my mother, a single mother who would give up everything for our pleasure.’

‘She’s a huge inspiration. Everyone knows my story of growing up, but you have to remember I have two brothers and two sisters all older than me, and she’s a single parent throughout the whole way of that.

However bad it is for us, it’s 10 times worse for her, so any awards I’ve got for the charitable things I’ve done, they’re all at her house…’

Rashford persuaded former Prime Minister Boris Johnson to provide free meals to vulnerable school children during holidays during the Covid pandemic.

He himself had experienced hard times when the family had little money, but is now fabulously wealthy and able to return the support his mother bravely worked to provide her family.

Melanie told a BBC documentary: ‘Sometimes we didn’t even have a loaf of bread in the house. It’s embarrassing to say but we didn’t.

‘But I wouldn’t tell someone I was struggling. either. It was embarrassing.

‘That’s why I had three jobs. I just had to try and work and get money from working.’

Melanie will join Marcus’s fiancée Lucia Loi and his brothers at England’s match with Senegal on Sunday evening at the Al-Bayt stadium as the two nations battle for a place in the quarter finals.

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