Across 4,163 consecutive games since 1937, United have had an unbroken run of having a player who came through their youth development programme either in their starting line-up or on the bench.
Rashford is the cream of the current crop and it was the England player who scored the winner against a determined West Ham side at Old Trafford.
The 24-year-old powered home a firm header seven minutes from the break after Christian Eriksen had curled over a superb far-post cross, making Rashford the 22nd United player to reach 100 goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s name is also on that list but having been given a starting spot because of Antony’s injury, the Portuguese failed to capitalise, wasting one excellent second-half opportunity after he had been sent running into the penalty area by Rashford.
In a thrilling finish, David de Gea made fantastic saves to deny Michail Antonio and Kurt Zouma, before, with almost the final move of the game, the goalkeeper surplus to Spanish requirements turned away a thunderous Declan Rice effort.
The result was enough for United to extend their unbeaten run to eight matches and go fifth in the table, while West Ham’s inconsistency outside European competition leaves them 13th, just three points above the relegation zone.
Rashford, whose goal came a day before his 25th birthday, could not be choosing a better time to find form given Gareth Southgate picks his England World Cup squad on 10 November.
It was the first time he has scored in successive games since January and, with a bit more luck, might have taken his overall tally for the season beyond seven.
Within the opening 16 minutes, he had three efforts. For the first, he had the confidence to nip in ahead of Ronaldo to take an early shot from Diogo Dalot’s low cross, which went wide. Then his low shot was blocked by Tomas Soucek before it could threaten the West Ham goal before, finally, Rashford’s header was saved by Lukasz Fabianski.
His landmark goal owed much to the patience of Dalot, who refused to be rushed into a quick throw by Casemiro and instead waited for Eriksen, who played a one-two with Bruno Fernandes before delivering the most brilliant of crosses.
Rashford drove another shot wide at the start of the second half but, apart from a Fred effort that came back off a post, the rest of the United heroes were at the other end of the pitch, with De Gea inspirational in keeping West Ham out.
Maguire & Bowen trying to impress England boss Southgate
Rashford was not on his own in needing to impress Southgate.
This was Harry Maguire’s first Premier League start since the four-goal humiliation at Brentford on 13 August and the Manchester United player will be quite pleased with his efforts.
Clean sheets are always welcome for defenders but Maguire played with a calmness that has been missing in recent months.
He was, however, also helped by West Ham manager David Moyes’ decision to replace one main striker in Gianluca Scamacca for another in Michail Antonio, rather than use both of them in attack as the West Ham fans made it clear they wanted when the second-half substitution was completed.
Jarrod Bowen was his usual industrious self and did bring one decent first-half save out of De Gea, although he would have been given offside had he scored.
The pair came together in stoppage time as Maguire blocked Bowen’s goal-bound shot.
It was a shame for West Ham – and Bowen, who knows he cannot bank on selection given England’s attacking options. But he must have more chance than Jadon Sancho, who remained on the Manchester United bench throughout.
One man who has no worries about whether he will be in Qatar is Rice.
He is by far England’s most influential midfielder. And, with home fans screaming for the final whistle, came so close to snatching a point for the visitors, only for De Gea to make a stunning save.