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Marcus Rashford’s pal Garfield Hayward thought he’d beaten cancer before losing battle in tragedy that sparked tribute

A PAL who Marcus Rashford dedicated his goals against Wales to last night has been described as “his biggest supporter”.

Garfield Hayward was a regular visitor to Old Trafford to cheer on the Manchester United striker with the player’s brothers Dane and Dwaine.

Garfield Hayward was Marcus Rashford’s ‘biggest supporter’, pals said
Rashford celebrating his goal against Wales last night
Flowers left underneath ‘Garf’ graffiti in the Levenshulme area of Manchester

Garfield – known as Garf – passed away earlier this week after a long battle with cancer.

A source said: “Garf was a really good friend of the Rashford family.

“He was a really kind good-hearted guy.”

“He had cancer for a long time and it went away, so everyone thought he had beaten it.

“But all of a sudden it came back and he couldn’t beat it.

“Marcus and his brothers and all of Garf’s friends have been left devastated by their loss.”

Flowers have been placed underneath a graffiti-style tribute on a railway bridge in Levenshulme, Greater Manchester, where he is believed to have grown up.

Rashford sank to his knees and pointed to the sky with both hands after scoring his free kick against Wales in a poignant tribute to his pal.

After the World Cup game he told reporters: “I lost one of my friends a couple of days ago. He had quite a long battle with cancer.

“I’m pleased I scored for him, he was a big supporter and good friend of mine.

“He was someone who came into my life.”

Friends paid tribute on social media, with one writing: “Big Garf was loved by the whole of Manchester and everyone who had the privilege of meeting him.

“Sending prayers and strength to all of his close friends family and loved ones.”

A family member added: “My heart is hurting so much knowing I won’t see you again in this life.

“Uncle Garf, one of the realist people I’ve ever know.

“You was a big part of my life growing up. Just wish we could of made a lot more memories together, it won’t be the same without you being here.

“You was the man with the most beautiful soul. You didn’t have a bad bone in your body you would give anything and everything you could with even a single bit of hesitation.

“I love you man and I’m so glad I got to tell you that.

“You will forever be in my thoughts and my heart till the day I die.”

Rashford scored two of England’s three goals against Wales at Qatar’s Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium last night, sending the Three Lions into the knockout stages.

Gareth Southgate‘s side are through to the last 16 where they will face Senegal on Sunday.

Social media is flooded with tributes to the football fan
Flowers, candles and notes left in the memory of ‘Garf’
Rashford during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between Wales and England

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