The Early Years
Wayne Mark Rooney was born in the suburb of Croxteth, Liverpool on October 24, 1985. A Liverpudlian through and through, his family are huge Everton fans so imagine their joy when Wayne was signed by Everton before his 11th birthday, having been spotted by Everton scout Bob Pendleton playing for boy’s club Copplehouse in the Walton and Kirkdale Junior League. Rooney scored 99 goals in his last season before joining the Everton academy.
Rooney’s family couldn’t possibly have been more proud when in 2002, at the tender age of 16, Wayne became the youngest goalscorer of the Premiership when he had a ‘wonder-strike’ for Everton against Arsenal during the last minute of the game. This goal brought Arsenals 30 match unbeaten run to an end, while in the same year Wayne was made the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year and became England’s youngest ever player at 17 years and 111 days old when he played in a friendly against Australia!
Playing for England at Euro 2004 he became the youngest player to score in the UEFA European Championships when he scored twice against Switzerland. He was unfortunately injured in the quarter-final against Portugal but not before he established himself as the top goal scorer of Euro 2004.
Rooney is nowadays a national hero and this was compounded by the fact that he joined Manchester United in August 2004 despite his broken foot from the Euro game. The six-year deal was worth $48.3million, which if you include agents fees totals $54million. Rooney admits that it was a hard decision to leave his beloved Everton but recognised that playing for a team as big as Manchester United would do great things for his career, with the opportunity to play in the top competitions like the Champions League. He made his Manchester United debut on 28th September 2004 in the Champions League against Fenerbahce. Rooney scored a hat-trick and set up another as United battered the Turks 6-2.
Rooney continuously shocks people with his ability and dedication – in April 2006 he broke the fourth metatarsal in his right foot and it looked unlikely that he would be able to play in the World Cup, but he made history by recovering in record time and did play in the World Cup – just seven weeks later!
While Rooney is no David Beckham in terms of style or glamour, he is renowned throughout the UK and the world for his down to earth attitude and his love of both football and family – he met his wife Colleen when she was just 12 years old; they married in 2008 and are expecting their first child. Rooney is now considered by many to be one of the best players in the world, and those who don’t agree with this admit that his time will come, with the England coach Fabio Capello admitting recently that ‘he has the potential to be one of the best players in the world’. One thing is for sure – Rooney is bound to be a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming World Cup!