Full Name: Wayne Mark Rooney
Date of Birth: 24/10/1985
Wayne Mark Rooney was born on the 24th October, 1985 in the Croxteth area of Liverpool. Rooney and his family (parents Jeanette and Wayne, and younger brothers Graham and John) have always been keen Everton fans.
From an early age Rooney showed talent on the football pitch. When he was nine, Everton scout Bob Pendleton spotted him playing for the boys’ club, Copplehouse Colts. Pendleton was actually only there to collect some referees’ fees for the Walton and Kirkdale Junior League. The Independent later recorded his reactions. "I walked down to where they were playing and I was standing talking to their manager, Big Neville, when I saw this little fella. He was so comfortable on the ball. He didn’t give it away when he got hold of it. The manager pointed out his mam and dad, big Wayne and Jeanette, and I went over and said I’d like to take the little fella to Bellefield. The look on their faces said it all. They were Evertonians."
Rooney joined the Everton academy after finishing the season with Copplehouse, during which time he scored 99 goals. He thrived in his new setting and by the age of just 15, was playing for the Under-19s team. In 2002 he scored a goal in the Youth Cup Final.
Joining the Premier League shortly afterwards, Rooney became a household name in October of that year when Everton played Arsenal who, at the time, had enjoyed an unbroken 30-game winning streak. Having come off the substitutes bench, in the final minute of play he showed remarkable skill in avoiding his marker, controlling the ball and sending it past the England goalkeeper David Seaman into the top-left corner of the net. This not only secured the 2-1 victory for Everton, ending Arsenal’s dominance, but it made him the youngest ever Premiership goalscorer (a record that has since been surpassed by Leeds’ James Milner). At the time, he was just 16 years old, too young even to sign a professional contract – which he did shortly after turning 17.
He received ITV’s October Goal of the Month award for his performance. Three months later, he was given the Young Sports Personality of the Year award by England coach Sven Goran Eriksson at the BBC ceremony (he was criticised by several newspapers for his untidy appearance and for chewing gum as he collected the gong).
In February of 2003, Rooney set a new record to become the youngest ever player to play for England, this time in a friendly against Australia. He was 17 years, 111 days old. Two months later he played a part in gaining England’s qualification in Euro 2004 after a 0-0 draw against Turkey, for which he was named Man of the Match.
Euro 2004 occasioned huge interest in the young star, now known as “Roo-naldo”. He scored four goals in three games, winning a penalty against France and scoring once against Croatia and twice against Switzerland. (This made him the youngest goal scorer in Euro history, though the Swiss striker Johan Vonlanthen beat the new record only days later.)
He was injured in the quarter-final match against Portugal and was unable to finish the tournament due to a broken metatarsal. England lost on penalties, but Rooney’s place in the public’s heart was by now secure.
Despite the fact that he had always wanted to play for Everton, press interest in the possibility of a transfer grew and before long Newcastle United and Manchester United were fighting over him. Everton tried to keep their protégé by offering him £50,000 per week, but – to fans’ disgust – he turned it town. In August of 2004 he announced that he would join Man U. His contract was initially for a period of six years, at a cost of around £25 million, making him one of the the UK’s most expensive players. His term was later extended to 2012. He scored a hat trick in his début match against Turkish Fenerbahce in September, despite the fact that, due to his foot injury, he had not played since Euro 2004.
A further metatarsal injury in April 2006, sustained during a collision from Paulo Ferreira in an away match against Chelsea, caused the player, his team and the public great concern. After being carried off, Rooney was told that he would need at least six weeks to recover, meaning that he would be unlikely to regain match fitness in time for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The newspapers followed his progress with interest. Amazingly, he was able to come on as a substitute in England’s second group game against Trinidad and Tobago. Unfortunately, however, he was not properly match fit and struggled through the tournament. In the quarter final match against Portugal he was sent off for apparently stamping on Ricardo Carvalho’s groin, something Rooney later claimed was unintentional. Thanks to the red card he missed England’s opening qualifiers for Euro 2008.
Due to his status as a football icon, Rooney’s personal life has attracted much tabloid interest. His fiancée Coleen McLoughlin is also a frequent staple of the popular press, often for extensive shopping sprees and her love of designer labels. The two of them have been called the “King and Queen of Chavs”.
One recurring theme is the young Rooney’s visits to massage parlours and prostitutes. Although he claimed that these happened before he met Coleen, there have also been rumours of infidelity.
In 2006, newspapers claimed that he had amassed gambling debts of around £700,000 during activities in an “England betting ring” involving Michael Owen, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand. These initially concerned football games, though none in which they played, but later extended to other sports.
Also at this time, he received £100,000 damages from The Sun and The News of the World, after false allegations that he attacked Coleen at a nightclub. Despite his supposed debts, he gave the money to charity.
Aside from the estimated £50,000 a week he receives for playing for Manchester United, Rooney earns several million per year through sponsorship deals.
- FA Premier League Player of the Month: February 2005, December 2005, March 2006, November 2007
- BBC Sports Young Personality of the Year: 2002
- Bravo Award: 2003
- UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament: 2004
- PFA Team of the Year: 2005-06
- Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year: 2005-06
- FIFPro World Young Player of the Year: 2005
- PFA Young Player of the Year: 2005, 2006
- PFA Fans’ Player of the Year: 2006
|2004–||Manchester United||131 (53)|