Thousands of messages on Marcus Rashford mural saved despite rain

Thousands of messages of love and solidarity left on the mural of England and Manchester United player Marcus Rashford have been removed to find a permanent home for them.

There were fears the words could be lost forever after a torrential downpour on Thursday evening, but Manchester City Council say they can still be saved.

Staff from the gallery and archives team rushed to the mural as soon as the unexpected downpour started and were relieved to see that despite being very wet, the vast majority of the messages were surviving the inclement weather, with only a handful looking a bit worse for wear.

Amanda Wallace is from Manchester Art Gallery.

After stabilising the display of messages last night and leaving notices around the mural to reassure members of the public, the team turned their attention to getting the additional support needed to help manage the delicate operation of removing the now very wet material from the mural. 

A late-night call to salvage experts Harwell Restoration Services - who helped remove and preserve thousands of tributes left in St Ann's Square after the Manchester Arena attack - had them on board within minutes.A team are working to help carefully remove every one of the damp messages from the mural. 

Once removed they will be taken by Harwell's for freezing and drying at their facilities in Oxfordshire, before being returned - cleaned and dry - to Manchester Central Library's archives in a few weeks' time.

Ed Wellard is from community group Withington Walls, who commissioned the mural.

Meanwhile a ‘Hope Beats Hate’ mural has also been created, moments away from theRashford artwork on the walls of Kingsway Football Club.

Created and designed by local artists Oskar with a K and Katie Jones and commissioned by Withington Walls and BT's Hope United, the mural has transformed the walls of Kingsway Football Club.

The company has worked alongside Withington Walls to create a virtual version of the Wall of Hope.

The site enables viewers to zoom in and around the wall and see the messages of support that were left there.

You can see it here