How the next generation at Marcus Rashford's old club are joining his call to rid of racism from football

Report by Granada Reports sports correspondent David Chisnall


He is a star footballer for both Manchester United and England and is leading the fight to end child food poverty in the UK.

Marcus Rashford is also the latest high profile footballer to speak out after being racially abused online. 

He grew up playing football for Fletcher Moss Rangers in Wythenshawe.

Ayaan Khan dreams of following in the footsteps of his hero Marcus Rashford and one day playing for Manchester United. The 23-year-old striker is an inspiration to millions but especially those at his former junior club Fletcher Moss Rangers in Wythenshawe. For aspiring young footballers of colour to see their role model racially abused is a cause for great concern.

If I go to football this is one thing I have to worry about, it's getting called racist stuff. I don't think it should be tolerated so it does worry me if I do make it.

Ayaan Khan, Fletcher Moss Rangers FC

Ayaan's dad Amir is the coach of his under 12s team. He has never heard it directly but has been told of occasions where his son suffered racist abuse while playing in goal.

To feel that somebody is being abused because of the colour of their skin is the lowest base.

Amir Kham - Coach, Fletcher Moss Rangers U12

He added: "You can see children they are at a really difficult age of 12 and 13 and I can see some of them just falling out of love with the game and losing that enthusiasm and passion.

"And I think how can somebody do that to someone, how can somebody do that to a child."

Ayaan Khan dreams of following in the footsteps of his hero Marcus Rashford.

With racism continuing to plague all levels of the game it needs high profile players like Rashford to speak out and stand up to the abuse. Along with Anthony Martial and Axel Tuanzebe he is the third United player in the last week to be targeted.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: "It's absolutely unacceptable behviour in 2021 with the education. You feel sorry for the people who show this ignorance." The Duke of Cambridge has called for racist abuse to stop and for social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, who own Instagram to do more. That is a sentiment backed by the Professional Footballer's Association. Iffy Onuora - Equalities Executive of the Professional Footballers' Association says: "It's too easy at the moment for people to start accounts, have criminal prosecutions against them be banned and then start up again. Those accounts have to be verifiable now." The Government are currently working on the Online Harms Bill which could be made law later this year. For many legislation is well overdue if aspiring footballers like Ayaan are to be saved from suffering the same abuse as their heroes.