Manchester United

Marcus Rashford has revealed that rival clubs offered his family “life-changing money” to join their academy over Manchester United, even playing a couple of games on trial for another team, but he refused to make it a permanent switch in order to pursue his childhood dream.

By the age of 26, Rashford has already played nearly 400 games for United, scoring 128 goals. But things could easily have worked out very differently had he taken a different decision 15 years ago.

“I have played for this club since I was a boy. My family turned down life-changing money when I was a kid so I could wear this badge,” Rashford revealed in his honest piece for The Players’ Tribune, part of 90min‘s parent company Minute Media.

“When I was about ten or 11 years old, I was getting a lot of attention, and we had all kinds of agents and clubs trying to pass things to the family. United still hadn’t signed me to a scholarship, and people were offering all kinds of things.

“A few clubs offered us life-changing money. We’ll buy the family a home, we’ll put cars in your garage. We’ll change your family’s life. At the time, my mum was working as a cashier at Ladbrokes. My brother was working for AA. They had every right to tell me, ‘Just take the deal.’ But they knew my dream was to play for United, so they never ever pressured me.

“I don’t know how many people know this, but I actually played two academy games for that one club to see how I liked it. I remember walking out of the dressing room and seeing my mum and my brothers, and they just asked me, ‘What do you want to do? Stay or go?’ I said, ‘I want to go back to United.’ That was it. We got back on the bus. We bet everything on ourselves – all our chips.”

Rashford stopped short of naming which clubs were involved at that stage. But several years earlier at the age of seven he had spent a week training with Manchester City, having being spotted playing for the famous Manchester junior club Fletcher Moss Rangers. Liverpool and Everton were also believed to be keen on recruiting him around a similar time in 2005. But he wanted United.

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By the time he was 11 and receiving those life-changing offers from elsewhere, Rashford had already put in the hard yards with United.

“Imagine being five, six, seven years old and taking four different buses across town to get to training at The Cliff. It was two buses into town, then we had to walk through the city to get to the other bus out of town to get to Salford,” he recalled.

“Even in the pouring rain. Nothing really good to eat. Training for hours with my mum sat there waiting for me, not knowing a thing about football, just doing it out of love. Then the same back home. Just to chase my dream of playing for United.

“And that’s not me moaning. Not at all. I loved every second of it.”

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