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22nd May 2018

Marcus Rashford praises the people of Manchester for their response to Arena attack

'Seeing how everyone reacted made me so proud to be a Mancunian'

Simon Lloyd

Marcus Rashford has praised the people of Manchester for their response to the terrorist attack on the city’s Arena a year ago.

22 people lost their lives after a suicide bomber detonated a device in the Arena’s foyer as an Ariana Grande concert was drawing to close. Many more were injured.

Writing on Manchester United’s official website, Rashford describes how he struggled to process what had happened that night, adding that it had a ‘massive impact’ on both him and the rest of his teammates, who were due to play their Europa League final against Ajax days later.

‘Personally, there was a massive, massive impact on me and I could see it affected the rest of the team as well,’ Rashford writes.

‘We were preparing for the Europa League final two days later, but even though we went to Stockholm, Manchester was at the front of our minds.

‘We all spoke about it beforehand in the dressing room before we went out for the final, and when the game had finished and we’d won, the first thing we did was make sure we showed our respects for what had happened back home.’

Along with Jesse Lingard, Rashford went on to visit some of those hospitalised by the attack – an experience that clearly moved him.

‘We went to put smiles on faces where we could, but they ended up helping us and making us smile,’ Rashford explained. ‘I really can’t put into words how brave those incredible kids are; how brave all the victims are. I can’t find the words to do them justice.’

Finally, Rashford expresses his support for those affected by the attack and speaks of his pride at the way in which the people of Manchester reacted.

‘Seeing how everyone reacted made me so proud to be a Mancunian,’ he says.

‘We can’t let what happened physically control us in what we do in the future. When people say we have to stay strong and stay together at times like last May, I think that’s what it means: that we have to stand side by side, together, live our lives and don’t be afraid. That’s what we’ve done and that’s what we’ll keep on doing.’