17 August 2002
|for Man Utd (£10M)
31 Aug 2004
15 May 2004
|Date of birth
||24 October 1985
||England U-15, U-16, U-17, U-18,
|Scores for fun
Superb ball striker
Strong and confident
|"Too young" – Walter Smith
A bit too aggressive?
Few paid too much attention when Wayne Rooney
scored a stunning goal in the FA Youth Cup semi-final at White Hart Lane.
And later in the final, he showed us the undershirt emblazoned with that
fateful quote: "Once a Blue, Always a Blue"....
young talent that Everton were quietly grooming for stardom
all-too-quickly became a
household name after his sensational last-minute winner put paid to Arsenal's
30-match unbeaten run and made Wayne Rooney both the youngest Everton
goalscorer and youngest player to score in the Premiership — an honour
he stole from Michael Owen. However, Wayne was not the youngest to
ever play for Everton: that record remains with Joe Royle.
Liverpool born and raised in Croxteth, Rooney was just days away from
his 17th birthday when he exploded into the national consciousness with
that one phenomenal swing of the boot in October 2002. Three weeks
earlier he had notched his first senior goals in the 3-0 League Cup win at
confirming the unprecedented buzz surrounding the player believed to be
the answer to the club's prayers.
And he followed the stunning Arsenal strike with a real predatory
masterpiece against Leeds
United that was to slay Everton's 51-year Elland Road hoodoo.
But for pure technical genius, physical strength, and mental
determination, his third league goal, against Blackburn
Then hero turned villain, or so we are lead to believe, with his
exuberance in the challenge resulting in a red card at Birmingham,
followed by a fifth yellow versus Manchester
City, and a four-match suspension.
Near the end of that ban, Wayne finally signed a lucrative 3-year contract
(the longest permitted of 17-year-olds) in January 2003, after ditching
his local agent to join Paul Stretford's Proactive Sports Management agency.
And his return late in the game at Charlton (ironically too late for the
watching England Manager, Sven-Goran Eriksson) preceded the announcement
of his accession to the England squad. The following Wednesday, 12
February 2003, at the hardly tender age of 17 yrs & 111 days, Wayne
Rooney became the youngest England player ever when he came
on at half-time after the first-choice England side had gifted Australia
Rooney played well, but tried perhaps a little too hard to grab all the
glory, although he did play a pivotal; role in the only England goal —
scored by his old mate from Croxteth, Franny Jeffers. He later
impressed with a superb performance for England against Turkey.
Wayne was fully expected to build on his brilliant debut season but the
ineptitude of the players around him held him back as Everton struggled
throughout the disastrous 2003-04 season. Nevertheless, he ended up
as leading scorer, with 9 goals in the Premiership.
Although he seemed to be playing with more discipline, he still managed
more cards than goals: 12 yellows. And the rumours of his departure
just grew and grew: £40M to Utd? Evertonians in increasingly
worrying numbers bought on to the failed logic that his sale would somehow
"save" Everton by enabling them to buy four decent players (get real!),
while, if he remained amongst the dross, his development would be forever
David Moyes and Bill Kenwright vowed repeatedly
he was not for sale, despite saying also that he was at least a £50M
player! But some of the most despicable nonsense published in the
name of journalism followed his excellent performance
for England in Euro 2004 as a multi-faceted campaign was put in motion by
his agent to precipitate a move away from Everton, despite a broken
metatarsal. The common wisdom
put about by slime like Schmichel was the he could
develop better with a club that was playing Champions League football!
Unfortunately, it seems Wayne bought into all this, even claiming at one
point that the person he'd choose to have with him on a desert island was
With little irony for long-suffering Evertonians, it was these words that Rooney would
echo with lacking conviction when he finally spoke to confirm the worst: a
transfer to Manchester United — for the ludicrous down-payment of only £10M.
So ends the dream.
The rest of the bizarre financial package Bill Kenwright negotiated
includes a second payment of £10M in August 2005, and contingent payments of up to £7M payable on the occurrence of
the following events during the next 5 years:
- European Champions' League:
- Winners:- £1.0M
- Runners Up:- £0.5M
- FA Premier League:
- Winners:- £0.5M
- Runners Up:- £0.25M
- FA Cup Winners:- £0.15M
- Player signs an extension to his contract at Man Utd: - £1.5M
- Player earns 20 England caps in competitive games whilst a Man Utd player:- £0.5M
- Player earns a further 20 England caps in competitive games whilst an
Man Utd player:- £0.5M
Even if these events do not occur, Everton will receive £3M provided
Rooney remains registered to Man Utd until 30th June 2007. This sum will be
payable in equal installments of £1M on 1st August 2006, 2007 and 2008 if
not already paid via the above incentives.
So we are now Man Utd supporters by default. Incredible! And the
additional return so far from the 2004-05 season? £0M. But remember, it was
a "fantastic deal".... for Manchester United!
While Rooney did pretty well for United, scoring 17 goals, and many of them
stunning, it was not all plain sailing at Old Trafford, with temperament and
disciplinary issues always bubbling under the surface. Ironically, Sir
Alec Ferguson had been talked up as the manager who could really curb any
flashes of temper from young Wayne — yet in the first year he was there,
he got progressively worse temperament wise, contrast his England
outbursts with his debut in the "pressure cooker" game against Turkey in
which he was supposed to be a liability in waiting yet didn't lose it once.
Over the ensuing years, his relationship with the Goodison crowd started off as fractious and simply got worse from the moment that Yobo passed to him mistakenly and he gleefully slotted home, kissing the Man Utd badge on his shirt and alienating himself an order of magnitude further than he already had by submitting that transfer request.
But through it all, in an insurmountable contadiction for many Evertonins, Rooney remained a Blue at heart (like it said on the shirt), confirmed by his attendance at the 2009 FA Cup Final, deressing his kid in Everton blue. In 2009 he conducted a serious of interviews with EvertonTV that seemd designed by his publicity team to engratiate himself to the Everton faithful (uniquely unsuccesful!).
But his underlying allegiance to the Blues was confirmed by these words from Mikel Arteta: "I don't like to see people behaving badly towards Wayne. He's been a terrific player and he loves Everton. He left for a massive club and brought a lot of money to this one. He's not said anything bad about this club and all the players and staff like him."
Last Updated by Michael Kenrick,