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Who Inspires Us? ...Marcus Rashford, Philanthropist and Activist


01 Dec 2023 | Alex Avery

Throughout 2023 we’re shining a light on some of those who inspire us throughout history and from around the world. Pioneers in science, technology, music, sport and beyond!

These incredible people can be found highlighted on our website home page too, but in these articles, we take a closer look at their stories and why we’re celebrating them.


In December we celebrate Marcus Rashford MBE. 


Marcus was born 31st October 1997 in Manchester in the United Kingdom. The youngest of 5 siblings in a family struggling with poverty, Marcus did not have a lavish start in life. His mother was a single parent who often juggled multiple jobs and skipped meals to ensure her children could eat.

Marcus’ footballer career began at the young age of 5, as a goalkeeper for Fletcher Moss Rangers, where his prowess for the game was already noticed as on a “different level” from other boys on the team. By 7, he was training with Manchester United (having already caught the attention of other major teams like Liverpool, Everton, and Manchester City). At 11, he became the youngest ever member of the Manchester United Schoolboy Scholars scheme (usually reserved for ages 12 and above) and was soon training as a Forward against players 4 years older than him.

In 2015, aged 18, Marcus embarked on his debut season for Manchester United in the UEFA Europa League, enjoying great success. He has also played for England, and, in May 2016, he became the youngest player in the team’s history to score on their debut. His ability has led to global recognition (and multiple contract extensions!) too numerous to detail here. Suffice it to say, his sporting career is ongoing, and already highly celebrated!

Off the pitch, Marcus is well known for his charitable philanthropic work and activism. He’s been involved with multiple projects to address child poverty and access to food, as well as using his celebrity status to raise interest and focus on these areas. Amongst his most noteworthy contributions are his work with FareShare, ensuring meals reached over 4 million impoverished children in 2020. He’s also campaigned towards the British government to end child poverty and was credited in instrumental policy changes.

Marcus has been well celebrated – and decorated – for his achievements. In 2020 he was appointed an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for his charitable works and was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. He is the youngest recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester and is the first winner of the FIFA Foundation Award. (He has a lengthy list of awards for his sporting achievement, too!)


“For me, sometimes it’s more important to perform well in training and know that I am improving rather than scoring in a game. It’s doing the hard work, day in, day out.” – Marcus Rashford


What Marcus Rashford means to us. 

Marcus’ mark on the sporting world is comparable only with his significant work in activism and charity, he’s an inspiring example of great success and philanthropy despite a difficult start in life. But that’s not the only reason we celebrate him here at gravity9.


“Of course, I am happy to play in any of the attacking roles, but for me, where I can score the most goals is down the middle.”


As a technology company, it’s very easy for us to diversify into any number of offerings, but therein lies the danger of spreading too thinly. Like Marcus, we understand our strengths and we understand where we can make the greatest impact. That’s why we focus on our Engineering, UX, Modernisation and AI strengths. We know what we can do, and we do it well.

“I don’t have the education of a politician, many on Twitter have made that clear today, but I have a social education having lived through this and having spent time with the families and children most affected. These children matter… And as long as they don’t have a voice, they will have mine.”

Like Marcus, we understand the importance of supporting others. At gravity9 we seek out ways to give back to our team, supporting them and their families. We strive to do good and to be a good business, from ESG policies to appreciation days. We are on the side of our team; we know what we have, and we intend to look after them – all of them.


“I learn something new every game. Every game is always different, no matter how you try and think about it beforehand.”


Adaptability. Agility. Self-reflection. The world of technology is a lot like a football match: fast paced and constantly shifting. If you don’t keep up, it could cost you. At gravity9 we’re constantly pushing ourselves to learn and to grow, to keep our focus on what’s important so that we can adapt to benefit from it, so that our clients can benefit from our A-game too.


“For me, sometimes it’s more important to perform well in training and know that I am improving rather than scoring in a game. It’s doing the hard work, day in, day out.”


Although we always work hard to deliver for our clients, we put hard work into training too. From weekly internal seminars to enrolment in external courses and forums where we share new developments and trends; we know that our investment “off project” pays dividends when delivering our best work.

Marcus Rashford is our final inspirational figure for 2023, and we hope you’ve enjoyed learning about these key figures in mankind’s history who – from musicians like Louis Armstrong to computing pioneers like Ada Lovelace – have made huge strides forward in their fields which continue to benefit us all today.

At gravity9 we’ve worked hard to become a proven, driven digital technology specialist and, while we may not have star footballers or jazz maestri amongst our ranks, we’re certain those shared qualities will bring and our client’s great success, now and for the future.