Wayne Rooney

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Wayne Rooney
Personal information
Date of birth October 24, 1985 (1985-10-24)
Place of birth    Liverpool, England
Height 1.78  m (5  ft 10  in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current club Manchester United
Number 8
Youth clubs
2000–2002 Everton
Senior clubs1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Manchester United
67 (15)
97 (41)   
National team2
2003– England 38 (12)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only and
correct as of 14:45, 17 March 2007 (UTC).
2 National team caps and goals correct
as of 21:19, 28 March 2007 (UTC).
* Appearances (Goals)

Wayne Mark Rooney (born 24 October 1985 in Liverpool) is an English footballer who currently plays for the English Premier League club Manchester United and the England national team. He is seen as one of the most exciting prospects of the modern game and is the most expensive teenager in world football. Rooney is a highly talented player with remarkable technique, vision, passing and finishing, and is one of those players capable of scoring wonder goals, his shots are believed to be the most powerful in the English Premier League. He normally played as a second striker to Ruud van Nistelrooy for his club team before van Nistelrooy's move to Real Madrid, although during 2005-06, he showed his versatility as a player by shifting to the midfield and playing on both flanks. He wears the number 8 shirt for Manchester United and the number 9 shirt for the English national team.

Rooney was brought up in an urban area of eastern Liverpool called Croxteth, where he and his two brothers attended the local De La Salle Catholic School.

Rooney grew up supporting Everton, and wore a T-shirt reading "Once a blue, Always a blue". However, he would end up playing just two seasons with Everton before demanding, and then executing, a transfer. This has left him on unfavourable terms with Everton fans, as they showed when he returned to Goodison Park and he was booed severely.

Rooney has been under an intense media spotlight since first arriving on the scene in 2002, particularly coming to the public's notice on 19 October 2002 when he scored a memorable goal against title-holders Arsenal, ending their 30-match unbeaten run. Receiving the ball on the edge of the 18-yard box, Rooney brought it down with instant control and turned away from his marker before firing it into the top left-hand corner of the goal, beating England keeper David Seaman and giving Everton a late 2-1 victory at Goodison Park. This goal provoked Clive Tyldesley, the match commentator, to exclaim 'remember the name, Wayne Rooney'. Rooney gained a huge reputation on the world stage due to his performance at Euro 2004, as he spearheaded the English attack, scoring four goals, eclipsing fellow England team mate Michael Owen. England fans knew that with such an outrageously talented player like Rooney, they had a chance to win the tournament, but Rooney was unable to play for the whole of the quarter-final game against Portugal due to injury and England were knocked out in a penalty shoot-out. Rooney appears on the cover of the FIFA 06 and FIFA 07 video game in the United Kingdom.



After excelling for Liverpool Schoolboys and The Dynamo Brownwings, Rooney was signed by Everton shortly before his 11th birthday. Rooney gained national prominence on the 19th of October 2002 when he became the youngest goal scorer in the history of the Premier League at 16 years and 360 days while playing for Everton (though this record has since been surpassed twice by James Milner and current record holder James Vaughan). His goal against then-champions Arsenal was a last-minute winner and brought to an end the London side's 30-match unbeaten run. At the end of 2002 he won the BBC Sports Young Personality of the Year.


Before turning 17 and becoming eligible for a professional contract, he was playing for £80 a week and living with his family on a council estate. His salary has since been increased several times and Rooney now earns an estimated £51,755 a week. Following intense media coverage of Rooney at Euro 2004, Everton claimed that they would not transfer his contract for less than £50 million. The club offered Rooney a new contract for £12,000 a week for three years. This, however, was turned down by Rooney's agent on the 27 August 2004, leaving Manchester United and Newcastle United to compete for his signature.

The Times newspaper reported that Newcastle were close to signing the young star for £18.5 million, a fact later confirmed by Rooney's agent. Manchester United, however, were the successful club in signing the young talent. Rooney handed in a transfer request to Everton and on 31 August 2004, Rooney signed for Manchester United after a deal worth around £31 million (£49 million including wages) was agreed. The deal was concluded just hours before the transfer deadline.

The initial fee of £23m was paid to Everton over two years; the rest of the money depends on appearances and/or success at Manchester United and/or England. It is likely the fee will reach the maximum £31m within the next 3 years. A final fee in the region of £30m plus costs is more likely. In the club's 2004-05 accounts, Rooney's contract is recorded as having a book cost of £25.066 million as at 30 June 2005, with contingent payables of £14 million, giving a maximum final fee of £39.066 million including costs.

Rooney's transfer fee is the second highest for an exclusively British deal, with only his Manchester United team-mate, Rio Ferdinand, commanding a higher fee. Rooney does, however, have the honour of being the most expensive teenage footballer ever, being only 18 when Manchester United signed him.

Manchester United

Rooney made his debut for Manchester United on 28 September 2004 in the UEFA Champions League against Fenerbahçe, scoring a hat-trick and also an assist (the match finished in a 6-2 win for United). For the 2005-06 season, Rooney initially started playing in wider positions than his more favoured central role. Pundits and fans alike agreed that he seemed less effective in such positions. Eventually, after Manchester United's poor run of form early in the season, Sir Alex Ferguson moved him back to his stronger position, playing behind Dutchman Ruud van Nistelrooy as a second striker. He got his first professional Winners Medal in the 2006 English League Cup. He was also named Man of the Match in the League Cup final against Wigan Athletic, after scoring two goals in the final (a 4-0 victory for United), en route to winning his first senior medal. He was also a member of the United side defeated in the 2005 FA Cup Final by Arsenal. He captained Manchester United for the first time in a home Champions League match against Copenhagen on 17 October 2006, becoming probably the youngest captain in the clubs' history. On 26 November 2006 he signed a two-year extension to his contract, which will keep him at Old Trafford until at least 2012; the contract extension negotiations only took one month, which was interpreted as showing how keen both sides were to conclude the extension.

Wayne Rooney has been a prolific goal scorer for Manchester United and Everton, matching the level of goals scored by other strikers such as Ruud van Nistelrooy. Also, he is a regular assist contributor. In the 2005-2006 season he achieved a final total of 14 assists and 16 goals, fewer goals than his current strike partner Louis Saha, but more assists.

During the first half of the 2006-7 season, Rooney went 10 games without a goal before scoring a hat-trick against Bolton. There was speculation about his fitness and confidence on the pitch, as he seemed less active than he usually is and his presence on the field was somewhat overshadowed by the brilliant form of Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo, although it is worth saying that Rooney is far from the sensational player he's been for Man united during the last two seasons (In which he was the main force and influnce of the team, much like what Cristiano Ronaldo is now). Rooney's scoring rate had been matched by Louis Saha and exceeded by Cristiano Ronaldo, a winger. Nevertheless, as of February 2007 he was the top English goalscorer in the Premiership, and had received significantly fewer bookings than in previous seasons. In the FA Cup tie against Portsmouth, Rooney came on as a substitute and scored two goals, one of which being a superb 25-yard chip over goalkeeper David James, and soon after scored two of United's four goals in the derby against Bolton. Despite getting back on the score sheet, Rooney's form was considerably lower than that of the previous seasons, as he seemed less active on the field, and his uncanny abilities to beat defenders were not demonstrated frequently, as he barely attempts to dribble past an opposing player and usually prefers to pass the ball, it was difficult to tell if Rooney had actually changed his playing style or if he hasn't regained his form after the injury he picked up prior to the 2006 world cup, along with facing early problems in the season after being sent off in a pre-season friendly against FC Porto which added to Rooney's already bad record with FIFA after he stepped on Ricardo Carvalho and pushed United team mate Cristiano Ronaldo during the 2006 world cup, since those two incidents, Rooney added more discipline to his game (which might explain why he doesn't seem as confident as he usually is). Rooney scored his first goal for two-and-a-half years in Europe in a 2-1 defeat to A.S. Roma on 4 April 2007, and his second (with the third goal of the night) in the quarter final second leg at Old Trafford on 10 April 2007, when United defeated Roma 7-1. His scoring form continued in the Champions League semi-final first leg on 24 April 2007, when he scored two goals in the 3-2 victory over A.C. Milan, the second a low first-time drive into the bottom right-hand corner in the 91st minute after a Ryan Giggs counter attack and pass. On 28 April 2007, Rooney was the hero once again as he completed United's comeback from 0-2 down to win 4-2 away to Everton, scoring his team's third goal. By the end of April, Rooney had scored 23 goals for his team in all competitions (which takes him ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo in goals scored in all competitions this season, although the latter has scored more Premiership goals), a remarkable record for a player who missed the opening games of the season through suspension, suffered a dip in form and a goal drought for 10 games.

National team career

Rooney playing for England
Rooney playing for England

He has also figured prominently in recent England international matches, after having become the youngest ever player to play for England, in a friendly against Australia, on 12 February 2003, aged 17 years, 111 days. This record has since been surpassed by Theo Walcott, who came off the bench to play in England's friendly against Hungary on 30 May 2006. England's youngest ever player previous to Rooney was James F. M. Prinsep of Clapham Rovers, who made his debut almost one and a quarter centuries before, on 5 April 1879, aged 17 years, 253 days. Rooney is also the youngest England scorer ever (17 years, 317 days).

His reputation as one of the world's most exciting young players was further enhanced by his highly regarded performances for England at Euro 2004 in Portugal. At the tournament Rooney became the youngest player ever to score in the UEFA European Football Championships, when on 17 June 2004 he scored twice against Switzerland; although the Swiss player, Johan Vonlanthen, broke this record against France four days later. Unfortunately Rooney was injured early in the quarter final match against Portugal and England were subsequently knocked out on penalties.

2004 Court Case

In and around 2002 there was a dispute between two groups over who had the right to manage Rooney and this led to a criminal trial after allegations that one side was trying to demand money with menaces from the other. The court was told that one group sought the help of the infamous London gangster Tommy Adams in resolving the dispute.

Disciplinary issues

Wayne Rooney's career has been tainted with moments of ill-discipline. In September 2005, against Northern Ireland, Rooney launched an on-field outburst at former England captain David Beckham, but since then the pair have played down the bust-up.

His ill-discipline led to his dismissal in the 0-0 draw with Villarreal during United's Champions League encounter in Spain. Rooney was sent off for dissent following his sarcastic applauding of the referee, Kim Milton Nielsen, after he was initially booked for what he felt was an unfair booking.

Rooney has pledged to keep his temper under control and both his club and international managers have defended him, citing his youth as the main reason for his behaviour. It is known that other teams and players are familiar with Rooney's disciplinary problems and sometimes use them against him, teasing him or provoking him. Since the 2004-05 season he has been trying to keep his temper in check, as shown by a drop in cards received in the 2005-06 season. In the 2006 World Cup quarter-final match with Portugal, Rooney was sent off after an incident during the 62nd minute of the match. He became only the third English player to be given a red card while playing a match in a World Cup Finals. Rooney was struggling to gain proper control of the ball as he was involved in a tangle with Ricardo Carvalho and Petit, during which he appeared to stamp on Carvalho's groin. The incident occurred right in front of Argentinian referee Horacio Elizondo. As play was stopped, Portuguese player Cristiano Ronaldo, a fellow teammate of his at Manchester United, remonstrated with the referee. Rooney then pushed Ronaldo and was shown the red card for what was thought to be a combination of the incidents involving Carvalho and Ronaldo. However, on 4 July, Elizondo told The Times that the red card was due to the stamp on Carvalho, and not the scuffle afterwards. He said "It was violent play and therefore he got a red card. People can say what they want (about Ronaldo) but this had absolutely no influence. For me it was a clear red card, so I didn't react to the Portuguese players."

After the match, which England lost on penalties, the BBC pundit team, led by Gary Lineker, showed a clip of what they found interesting in light of Rooney's dismissal. Before the match, Rooney's Manchester United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo approached him from behind and aggressively placed his head close to Rooney before speaking directly into his ear. Rooney's reaction and the look on Ronaldo's face suggested that the act was far from playful. Following Rooney's dismissal, Ronaldo was seen winking at the Portuguese bench. Cristiano Ronaldo said in a post-match press conference that he had not urged the referee to take out a red card, but just pointed out that Rooney had committed a foul.

On 3 July, Rooney released a statement saying, "I bear no ill feeling to Cristiano but am disappointed that he chose to get involved. I suppose I do, though, have to remember that on that particular occasion we were not team-mates." He also claimed that his actions were accidental. He also defended his own actions in the statement: "I want to say absolutely categorically that I did not intentionally put my foot down on Ricardo Carvalho. He slid in from behind me and unfortunately ended up in a positioning where my foot was inevitably going to end up as I kept my balance. That's all there was to it. When the referee produced the red card I was amazed - gobsmacked."

Wayne Rooney was investigated by FIFA's disciplinary committee after being sent off during England's World Cup quarter-final defeat against Portugal, banned for two competitive matches and fined 5,000 Swiss francs.

Rooney was sent off again for Manchester United in an Amsterdam Tournament game against FC Porto on 4 August 2006 for the alleged use of an elbow, and was subsequently handed a three-match ban by the FA following their receipt of a 23-page report from referee Ruud Bossen explaining why he felt it was necessary to send Rooney off in the aforementioned game. This was viewed as surprising, as other players sent off in pre-season friendly matches were not so sanctioned, and Rooney wrote to the FA threatening to withdraw the FA's permission to use his image rights if the ban was not revoked - however the FA has no procedure to do so.

Though not related to on-field action, there were reports by British media that Rooney punched Blackburn Rovers' Michael Gray on 2 September 2006. The alleged incident that happened inside a Manchester restaurant was a result of suggestive comments by Gray towards Rooney's fiancée Coleen McLoughlin. Police were not informed about the incident.

On 24 November 2006, Wayne Rooney was questioned by the police over a fight outside a Manchester nightclub. This supposedly happened when a photographer started hassling Rooney. The photographer did not need any medical treatment.

Personal life

Rooney is one of three sons of Wayne, Sr, and Jeanette Rooney, his brothers being Graham and John. He didn't achieve a single GCSE.

He has rarely been out of the media spotlight since his goal against Arsenal in October 2002, and has received criticism for his relationship with fiancée Coleen McLoughlin, who is often featured in the tabloid press for her shopping habits. They currently live in a £4.25 million mansion in the village of Prestbury in Cheshire. When he moved to Manchester United and was told to find a home in the posh area of Cheshire, Rooney passed a pub which he thought was named "Admiral Rooney" and saw it as a good omen for his future home. It was actually " Admiral Rodney", but Rooney chose the place, Prestbury, anyway (kicker, April 18, 2006, p. 79-80). He also owns property in Marbella and Harbour Pointe, Port Charlotte, Florida.

Rooney has also lucrative contracts with Nike, Nokia, Ford, Asda and Coca Cola. His marketing value is estimated at 46 million, making him the third-highest rated football player behind Ronaldinho and David Beckham.As a side note, he was featured on 500 million Coca-Cola cans during the 2006 World Cup. Regarding his private life, Rooney's favourite rappers are Eminem and 50 Cent. His favourite film is Grease, and his favourite TV series is Only Fools And Horses. Moreover, he is an avid reader of the Harry Potter series. He enjoys boxing, and idolises Mike Tyson. (kicker, April 18, 2006, p. 79-80).

Rooney was "Merk'd" along with other England teammates (the equivalent to the American TV Show "Punk'd") by his Manchester United and England team mate, Rio Ferdinand on a mini-series TV show build up to the World Cup, "World Cup Wind Ups". This comical scenario left Wayne holding a drip for a young Manchester United fan's dog.

In his spare time, Wayne likes to play video games, his favourite game is FIFA 07, which he plays with Man United teammates Wes Brown, John O'Shea and Rio Ferdinand.

Visits to prostitutes

Rooney's personal life has also often been marred by accusations from the press surrounding his visits to prostitutes, which he later confirmed to be true. Rooney has spoken of his deep regret at the incident. On 29 January 2007 a case was dismissed where by Patricia Tierney, 52, from Whiston, had claimed libel damages against The Sun newspaper. Tierney said an article from 2004 had featured "horrible lies" about her working as a prostitute at Diva's massage parlour in Liverpool, and that she had sex with Rooney; had resultantly destroyed her reputation and life. However, in the police statement taken at the time she said she worked as a sex worker because she needed the money, but kept her job a secret from her family. Her solicitors withdrew from the case, and Tierney who had represented herself at Manchester County Court, asked the judge, Mr Justice Christopher Clarke, to adjourn the hearing while she sought alternative legal representation. Tierney told the court she could not read, the police statement misrepresented what she had told the officer and that she did not know what she was signing. Mr Justice Clarke dismissed the case, saying in his ruling: "In light of that statement, it's plain that the central plank of the claimant's case that she was not, and never had been, a prostitute and worked only as a receptionist is not true, and that the claim that she was not a liar was false and was known to be so." The Sun's barrister, Anthony Hudson, said Tierney's claim amounted to between £750,000 and £250,000 damages for her and £500,000 legal fees, which the Sun would have had to pay if she won her case..

Press accusations

In April 2006, newspapers suggested that he owed in excess of £700,000 in gambling debts, possibly connected to a business partner of Michael Owen. Days later, he accepted £100,000 (which he donated to charity) in libel damages from The Sun and News of the World newspapers which had claimed he had assaulted his fiancée in a nightclub.

In September 2006, Rooney was again at a the centre of controversy, accused of punching Michael Gray in the eye following provocation from the Blackburn defender.

Books and website

On 9 March 2006, Rooney signed the largest sports book deal in publishing history with the publishers HarperCollins. He is to receive a £5 million advance, plus royalties, for a minimum of five books to be published over a twelve-year period. The first book, My Story So Far, a ghost-written autobiography, was scheduled to be published after the World Cup. On 1 September 2006 Everton manager David Moyes started a libel action against the Daily Mail, which was publishing extracts of Rooney's book and threatened to also sue Rooney and his book publishers over statements made in the book concerning the circumstances of Rooney's leaving Everton.

In July 2006, Rooney's lawyers went to the United Nations' World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to gain ownership of the internet domain names "waynerooney.com" and "waynerooney.co.uk", which Welsh television actor Huw Marshall had registered in 2002. In October 2006, the WIPO ruled that "waynerooney.com" should be handed over to Rooney.

Career stats

(Correct as of 24 April 2007)

Club Season League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists
Everton F.C. 2002–03 33 6 4 4 2 0 0 0 0 37 8 4
2003–04 34 9 3 6 0 - 0 0 0 40 9 3
Manchester United 2004–05 29 11 4 8 3 - 6 3 1 43 17 4
2005–06 36 16 10 7 2 4 5 1 0 48 19 14
2006–07 31 14 13 7 5 3 11 4 0 49 23 16
Total 215 76 40
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