THE ODDS of Marcus Rashford winning Sports Personality of the Year have been slashed after his MBE award.
The Manchester United striker was named in the Queen's Birthday Honours last week for his free school meals campaign.
As well as enjoying a solid year on the pitch, Rashford, 22, has been exemplary off it.
Having teamed up with charities to deliver meals to disadvantaged kids during the coronavirus lockdown, he forced Government ministers to extend its scheme through the summer.
In accepting the MBE, Rashford said he was "incredibly honoured and humbled" but insisted his fight was not over.
The impressive campaign has led to the forward moving into contention for the 2020 Sports Personality of the Year gong.
BBC bosses are expected to produce a very different ceremony this year, with large swathes of sporting action wiped out by the pandemic.
With fewer achievements to speak of and the country still reeling from the virus, the show will likely focus on the actions of ordinary people.
The incredible fundraising efforts of Captain Sir Tom Moore has led to the creation of the 'Unsung Hero' award in his name – and the 100-year-old is in the running for the main prize.
Ladbrokes have the charity walker down at 20/1 for the gong.
Liverpool's Premier League winning captain Jordan Henderson, fast-bowling record-holder Jimmy Anderson and the nation's PE teacher Joe Wicks can all be found at that price.
Ronnie O'Sullivan stands at 5/1 following his first World Championship title in seven years.
Tyson Fury and Lewis Hamilton are tied at 5/2 before third-favourite Rashford at 3/1.
After being named an MBE, the England ace stated: "I’m incredibly honoured and humbled.
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"As a young black man from Wythenshawe, never did I think I would be accepting an MBE, never mind an MBE at the age of 22.
"This is a very special moment for myself and my family, but particularly my mum who is the real deserving recipient of the honour. The fight to protect our most vulnerable children is far from over.
"I would be doing my community, and the families I have met and spoken with, an injustice if I didn’t use this opportunity to respectfully urge the Prime Minister, who recommended me for this honour, to support our children during the October half-term with an extension of the voucher scheme, as the furlough scheme comes to an end and we face increased unemployment."
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