Marcus Rashford has revealed he suffered an unexplained medical problem in a football match early in his career, as he sought to console the British tennis player Emma Raducanu.
The England and Manchester United forward sent a tweet to the 18-year-old to say the country was proud of her after she quit in the middle of her Wimbledon fourth-round match this week.
“It happened to me playing for the national team in U16s against Wales. I remember it to this day. No explanation for it and it never happened again. You should be very proud of yourself. The country is proud of you. Glad to read your [sic] feeling better. Onwards and upwards,” Rashford tweeted.
Raducanu had posted a message on social media on Tuesday to tell fans she was feeling much better after abandoning her match against the Australian Ajla Tomljanović on Monday evening.
Apologising to her opponent, she said: “I was playing the best tennis of my life in front of an amazing crowd this week and I think the whole experience caught up with me. I started to breathe heavily and felt dizzy. The medical team advised me not to continue and although it felt like the hardest thing in the world not to be able to finish my Wimbledon on the court, I was not well enough to carry on.”
She thanked everyone for their support and vowed to “come back stronger” next year.
Rashford, at just 23, is increasingly taking on a statesmanlike role in sport, pushing to change government policy on food poverty and launching a nationwide reading initiative.
This week he delighted a nine-year-old boy from Merseyside by sending him a PlayStation 5 as a reward for his fundraising efforts.
Jacob, from St Helens in Merseyside, was inspired by Rashford’s efforts to tackle child poverty and began running for the charity Fare Share. His family said they were “so shocked” when a PS5 and a letter from Rashford arrived on their doorstep, the BBC reported.
The letter said: “We are not kind to be noticed. We are kind because it is the right thing to do. It feels good to help others.”