Vandalised Marcus Rashford mural is absolutely COVERED with messages of support as England star 'on verge of tears'
A VANDALISED Marcus Rashford mural has been covered with messages of support – after the England star said fans' backing had left him "on the verge of tears".
Thousands of people have now signed tributes to the England hero, who was targeted with racist abuse following Sunday night's heartbreaking Euro 2020 defeat.
Vile messages were scrawled in graffiti on a mural of the striker in Withington, Manchester shortly after his penalty miss at Wembley.
Swear words and the name 'Saka' were painted across the artwork. Cops are treating the vandalism as hate crime.
But the community has since worked together to cover the abuse with notes and pictures dedicated to the champ, who was last year honoured with an MBE for his work to feed hungry kids during the pandemic.
Paper love hearts declaring the Three Lions ace a "hero" and "role model" now cover the cruel messages.
And Rashford, who said he was moved to tears by the tributes, has vowed to "never apologise for who I am".
The response in Withington had me on the verge of tears
He said: "I can take critique of my performance all day long, my penalty wasn't good enough, it should have gone in.
"But I will never apologise for who I am and where I came from.
"I've felt no prouder moment than wearing these three lions on my chest and seeing my family cheer me in a crowd of tens of thousands.
"The messages I've received today have been positively overwhelming and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears."
Manchester United star Rashford, 23, was one of three unsuccessful England penalty takers during the nail-biting shootout.
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Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho also missed from the spot as Gareth Southgate's men fell agonisingly short of Euros glory.
The trio were targeted on social media after their penalty misses with sick messages and monkey emojis.
Prince William, Boris Johnson and Harry Kane are among those to blast the sick racists.
And Rashord also shared a letter of support sent by nine-year-old fan Dexter Rosier after his penalty miss.
The schoolboy's letter said: "I hope you won't be sad for too long because you are such a good person.
"Last year you inspired me to help people less fortunate. Then last night you inspired me again, to always be brave.
"I'm proud of you. You will always be a hero."
This morning, Susanna Reid struggled with tears on Good Morning Britain as she read the youngster's message aloud.
Breaking off as she struggled not to let her emotions bubble over, she added: "I hope Marcus feels everything that's coming through from this letter and all the messages of support."
The mural was painted in November to honour Rashford's selfless work to feed poverty-stricken kids.
Police have confirmed they're investigating. No arrests have yet been made.
Cops in London are also probing the racist abuse posted on social media.
One comedian has seen a string of shows cancelled after tweeting: "I'm sorry that black guys are bad at penalties."
And firm Savills has suspended a worker after racist abuse was sent from his Twitter account.
A post from Andrew Bone's Twitter account branded the players the N-word and claimed the England stars had "ruined it for us" after the loss.
But Bone's family claimed to The Sun his account had been hacked – and he had reported the matter to police.
TWITTER USERS 'HACKED'
Another Twitter user also claims his account was hacked after it was used to send racist messages.
Children's football coach Nick Scott, 50, says he had nothing to do with a vile tweet sent to Rashford.
The dad-of-two from Powick, Worcestershire, also denied sending a sickening homophobic tweet aimed at the England women's football team.
A message posted to his account Scottywwfc said: "Marcus Rashford that MBE needs burning ya fake.
"Pack them bags and get to ya own country."
The Wolves fan told The Sun Online: "I didn't send it mate – I've been hacked. I didn't post it.
"The first I learned about it was this morning when I woke up. I'm seeing my solicitor in the morning. I don't know who hacked me."
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