Marcus Rashford dedicated his brace in England’s World Cup victory over Wales to a friend who recently died from cancer.
The Manchester United forward hit a superb free-kick and ended a mazy run by finishing through goalkeeper Danny Ward’s legs after Phil Foden had doubled England’s lead in what proved to be a 3-0 stroll against their British rivals in Al Rayyan. The 25-year-old forward pointed to the sky after finding the net and revealed afterwards that he was paying tribute to his late friend Garfield Hayward.
What did Marcus Rashford say?
After the match, said: “Unfortunately I lost one of my friends a couple of days ago. 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.”
Who is Garfield Hayward?
Fellow Mancunian Garfield Hayward on Sunday, just two days before Rashford’s brace against Wales. He was thought to be aged just 35. There was a tribute in a Manchester nightclub last night, as well as flowers left around the city.
MailOnline has reported his nephew Steven said on social media: "My heart is hurting so much knowing I won't see you again in this life. Uncle Garf, one of the realist people I've ever known. You were the man with the most beautiful soul. You will forever be in my thoughts and my heart till the day I die."
While another pal, Calder Taylor, said: “Big Garf was loved by the whole of Manchester and everyone who had the privilege of meeting him. Sending prayers and strength to all of his close friends family and loved ones.”
What did Rashford say about the England v Wales match?
England are through to the last 16 where they will face Senegal, and Rashford believes Gareth Southgate’s squad is strong enough to mount a serious challenge in the knockout stages.
He added: “I feel like the ambition in the squad is really good. We have a good mix of qualities. We have a really good squad and a squad that is definitely capable of challenging to win the tournament. I’m hoping that we can build on this type of performance, keep improving and keep scoring goals and showing our qualities.”
Rashford was happy with the way England bounced back from their goalless draw with the United States.
He told BBC One: “We were a little bit disappointed as a team after the last game against the USA. I thought we could have played a lot better and the only way to bounce back from that is to have a good performance in your next game and I think we did that.
“First half, we defended brilliantly, we didn’t really give them any opportunities. And it was just about us killing the game off and taking the chances when they came.”
On his free-kick opener, Rashford added: “I fancied one in the first half but the one in the second half was in a better position. And from there, it’s just about being calm and trying to execute what you practice in training. They don’t go in often but I’m pleased that it went in today.”
Speaking about Rashford, Southgate told BBC One: “It’s great for him. He’s trained really well, I have to say. He’s really been impressive since he came back in with us. He could have had a hat-trick really, the chance in the first half, the one at the near post in the second. The free-kick, that is what he’s capable of, it’s an incredible strike really.”