Object of the Week: Rashford 1 Boris 0 banner Calendar

13 Aug 2020


Sometimes the simple football banners are the best. With football in lockdown in the spring of 2020 this flag appeared on a street rather than a stadium. It reflected one of the game’s biggest stars and a campaign close to his heart. Head of Collections Wiebke Cullen explains.

What is this object?

This is one of our recent acquisitions to the museum: a handmade banner made from a bed sheet. It has the words ‘Rashford 1 – Boris 0’ spray painted on the front.

Why is it significant?

At the height of the coronavirus pandemic in April 2020 England and Manchester United star Marcus Rashford raised millions for the charity Fareshare UK that distributes good quality surplus food to vulnerable households.

In June he also campaigned tirelessly against the government’s decision to not provide free school meal vouchers to vulnerable families during the summer holidays.

His campaign was successful and the government was forced into a u-turn.

The banner tells the story of a footballer using his platform during the pandemic to speak out on important issues such as child poverty.

Who made it and why?

Marcus Rashford grew up in Wythenshawe and received free school meals during his childhood.

Following the government’s U-turn, the local community group Wythenshawe Whispers made the banner to celebrate Rashford and to pay tribute to what a local man had achieved.

The banner was displayed at a ‘Welcome to Wythenshawe’ sign in the town and its picture soon went viral on social media and in the national press.

How did we get it?

Our collections team has been involved in a contemporary collecting project around football’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic since lockdown began in March 2020.

After one member of our team spotted the banner, the museum carried out a successful social media campaign to acquire it for the museum’s collection.

The banner’s story is now being saved for future generations and it is on display in our permanent galleries.

What response do you get to it?

Our visitors are really interested in seeing it. Many have their photo taken in front of the banner. I think many people have seen it in the media and are quite excited to see it in the museum.

As well as collecting historical artefacts we are interested in contemporary stories.

The Rashford banner features in our First 11 series as part of Manchester’s football history. Check it out below, and watch the full line-up of videos on YouTube: