Wayne Rooney ends his playing days to become Derby County manager

Friday, 15 January, 2021 69comments  |  Jump to last
Wayne Rooney, the greatest ever product of Everton's Academy, has announced his retirement from playing the game so he can become the full-time manager of Derby County.

Gary Lineker leads tributes to the retiring Wayne Rooney after the former England, Everton and Manchester United star calls time on a 19-year playing career to take over permanently at Derby County.

Gary Lineker labelled Wayne Rooney one of the all-time great footballers after he called time on his playing career following his permanent appointment as Derby boss.

The 35-year-old has signed a 2½-year deal to take charge of the Rams — currently in the Championship relegation zone — until the summer of 2023.

» Read the full article at Mail Online

Reader Comments (69)

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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 15/01/2021 at 16:28:31
For me, memories of Rooney always will be tinged with sadness at his departure from Everton, the circumstances thereof, and especially the hatred engendered amongst a significant number of Evertonians.

Plus the knowledge that the precocious brilliance which saw him score that fantastic first goal against Arsenal at Goodison Park would never quite deliver the promised fulfilment of a really brilliant career, despite the acknowledged achievements for Manchester United and England.

Brian Murray
2 Posted 15/01/2021 at 16:34:37
No bitterness or spite from me; however, he wasn't a Blue from Day One and gave up that right and privilege to be an Evertonian a long time ago. Maybe I'm old school, just my opinion.
Tony Hill
3 Posted 15/01/2021 at 16:46:28
I consider him the most purely talented and dazzling player I have seen in our shirt - I refer obviously to the young Rooney. Not a great Everton player, of course, because he left and took his immense gifts with him.
Thomas Richards
4 Posted 15/01/2021 at 16:46:52
Never really understood the hatred towards Rooney.
Nearer to the top than bottom in my top 5 of all time Everton greats.
If we had a decent chairman and board he would never have left as an 18 year old kid.
I wish him all the best
Stuart Sharp
5 Posted 15/01/2021 at 17:23:26
Thomas, we agree on something! Have always been surprised by the lingering negativity towards him. Probably the most exciting raw talent I've seen in blue. In fact, despite years of reading TW, I didn't start posting until I felt the need to stick up for him during his second spell. I was convinced he had something to offer, he just needed good management. Anyway, I wish him well. His first exit was truly painful, but like others have said, the blame lies with the club.
Thomas Richards
6 Posted 15/01/2021 at 17:31:14

"Thomas, we agree on something!"


Barry Rathbone
7 Posted 15/01/2021 at 17:52:34
Hope he does alright.

Contrary to some I class him as a true Evertonian savvy enough to understand the industry of football and smart enough to suss out amateurs like Moyes and Kenwright.

I suspect the weight of expectation would have seen him implode if he stayed whereas at Utd he was one of many stars creating a niche as a talented "fill in" shuffling from the wing to striker to midfield.

The loyalty thing is schoolboy thinking the "job" of a footballer bears no relationship to the emotive wants of fans something I wish I had understood when turning down Shankly's Liverpool as a teen.

Everton told me to fuck off 🤣🤣

Barry Thompson
8 Posted 15/01/2021 at 17:57:05
Everton already had a hot dog seller in place then eh Barry
Stuart Sharp
9 Posted 15/01/2021 at 18:03:55
Thomas - just a flippant and wine-induced reference to our discussion of Covid.
Tom Bowers
10 Posted 15/01/2021 at 18:13:37
I will miss watching Rooney on the field. Always enjoyed his skills and vision no matter who he played for.
The biggest crime ever that he didn't spend most of his career at Everton and sad that he came on the scene when Everton were an upside down club.

He's going into management without the advantages that Slippy G has at Rangers (they only have Celtic to compete with) so I hope he has a lot of success at Derby.

Thomas Richards
11 Posted 15/01/2021 at 18:21:47
Sorry Stuart,

I wasnt sure what you were referring to. Dont recall the conversation tbh.
Will go back and have a look now.

Darren Hind
12 Posted 15/01/2021 at 18:24:22
I'm glad you chose the word "significant" Michael.

Often you would read of the "toxic reception" Rooney had received at Goodison. The media were on it like a tramp on chips and made out that it was the whole of Goodison. That is of course bollocks. 10-15 thousand angry people can make an awful lot of noise. I don't know how many abused him, but I do know it was far from everyone.

Rooney was unique; Every Evertonian knew he was coming long before he actually got here. I remember a whole group of people who handnt seen him play surrounding Colin Harvey in the car park.. "What's he like Col ?"...Harvey just gave a knowing look and said "You'll see"...All present nearly pissed themselves. Rooneys reputation just grew and grew.

Fast forward a couple of years to St Mary's. The most famous kid in the country was told to get off the bench and get warmed up...I have never seen a reaction like it. The Evertonians were not just on their feet they were standing on the fucking seats. A few had seen him play, but the majority were craning to get their first glimpse of the wonder kid warming up. Even the Southampton fans were on their feet.
TGT being TGT somehow managed to piss on everyone's parade. He told him to sit back down again and we didnt get to see him that Day.
A few weeks later, after taking the football world by storm. He was on the bench at Mordor. He came on to huge jeers and cat calls from the great unwashed. An Evertonian started chanting "Rooney's gonna get ya". The chant gathered legs... "Rooney's gonna get ya" rang around Anfield road.
Shortly after coming on, Rooney picks up the ball to the expected moronic jeers. He takes a couple of strides and hits a screamer. A bastard deflection took it onto the crossbar and it bounced back out. Jammy cuunnttzzz.

It was so frustrating to see the ball come back off the bar, but it was marvellous to see 40,000 kopites all scrambling to get behind the couch. They were shitting themselves and we knew it..."Rooneys gonna get ya"

My take on the hostility directed at Rooney is that it was done more in hurt than Hate. Our golden boy had been allowed to slip from our fingers and raw Evertonians simply lashed out. You always hurt the ones you love

Moyes had undoubted assembled a decent team back then and thats what still bothers me. We still couldnt get near clubs like United because they had players like Rooney.
The question I always ask myself is. Would an Everton team which included Wayne Rooney have bridged the gap with a Man united team which didnt ?. Could we have won some of their trophies ?

If uncle Bill had stood his ground, fucked Man United off and made Rooney (and his representatives) an offer they couldnt refuse. would the 21st century Everton have been be a very different beast to the one we see now ?

Uncle Bills agony whilst crying on the phone to his Ma " They've took our boy" would have gained sympathy with many an Evertonian if it wasnt for the fact that While he was holding the phone with one hand He was taking the Mancs money with the other

Jason Wilkinson
13 Posted 15/01/2021 at 18:25:00
I wish Rooney all the best. He deserves his chance to try and continue his illustrious career as a manager.
As for his time at Everton. He left a very average group of players to join the best team in the land at the time. He got paid at least double if not treble what we could pay him. The moment he signed professional papers he stopped being a fan. I think he will always class himself as an Evertonian. It's not a shame he left us. The shame is the fact that once mighty Everton had fell so far behind the other clubs that voted for the premier league. We were desperate for the money. Just like Renton, Begby, Sick boy & Spud we got played in the boardroom by the slick Man Utd. What bugs me about him going is we got mugged on the price. I recall people saying we got a good deal for an unproven player. What we had witnessed was a truly great player that was always going to have a stellar career.
Barry Rathbone
14 Posted 15/01/2021 at 18:26:30
Barry 8

Didn't even come in for me instead took my mate with the touch of a donkey (sorry Alex if you're still alive 🤣).

And you're right didn't even get a sniff of the fried onions - dyagettit??

Oh please yourself

Thomas Richards
15 Posted 15/01/2021 at 18:32:51
Just had a quick look Stuart.

Enjoyable debate we both took part in last night.
Enjoy your vino

Stuart Sharp
16 Posted 15/01/2021 at 18:35:51
Amen. A good weekend to all.
John Keating
17 Posted 15/01/2021 at 18:42:22
Michael 1
fully agree
Brian 2
Brian I appreciate every is entitled to an opinion but in my opinion you are right off the scale
Wayne Rooney was/is born and bred a Blue
Wayne Rooney came to us at the wrong time.
He came along when our board of directors didn't have a pot to piss in. We we re so far in the mire I am still at a loss how we could afford one lawn mower never mind thousands.
Our problem at that time is that WE could not live with Rooney's abilities
If Rooney had come on with someone like Moshiri at the helm with a few bob to buy half decent players and we had a manager and staff who could realise that we would have been brilliant!
Say whatever you want about Rooney but actually talk to the lad and ask him directly what he feels about Everton.
If you did believe me you would never have posted that
Stephen Brown
18 Posted 15/01/2021 at 18:42:37
Darren great post and spot on.

I still wonder what if we could have kept him?! I think time was a healer for most fans and I still now really feel pride when he talks about being an Evertonian despite being MU top scorer ever. I think the badge kissing nonsense was immaturity and possibly a lack of sense!

Funny enough I watched the Arsenal game on YouTube with my 6 year old yesterday and the sense of anticipation in the crowd when he came on was huge!

It’s all about timing because if he came through now with the finances so much improved he could have been the Everton legend he wanted to be!

I’m just glad I got to see him play in his second spell! Was there for Stoke game and the crowd picture behind him when he scored will always be a memory to savour.

Good luck with Derby Wayne! Hope it works out!

Thomas Richards
19 Posted 15/01/2021 at 18:44:17
Never forget a banner put up in Camp Nou at a classico, directed at Luis Figo who had left Barca to join Madrid.


Tony Abrahams
20 Posted 15/01/2021 at 18:44:56
We lost the best, to enable the worst to keep hold of his train-set.
Andrew Keatley
21 Posted 15/01/2021 at 18:52:46
With the possible exception of Pele I would probably rate Wayne Rooney as the greatest teenage footballer of all-time. Despite everything he won with United, and all the goals for England, if you had told me in 2005 that his career would develop as it has then I’d have been hugely surprised and disappointed. I really thought he would become one of the all-time greats of world football. His displays in the group games of Euro 2004 were extraordinary. It’s a shame that his best days were already behind him by the time he was 27. Raw exceptional talent with a tenacious will to win and the confidence to try the audacious. Oh, that he stayed here in 2004...
John Keating
22 Posted 15/01/2021 at 19:06:53
I am really surprised at you post
Maybe I have read or interperated it wrong.
Rooney was one of the great. Unless you mean you can't be a great unless you play for Barca or Real Madrid?
Rooney has won every domestic honour. He's got a CL win. He has captained England, leading scorer for them.
The guy has won everything except be a part of a team that has not won a World Cup or Euro. But does that mean he has failed?
To me it's that the rest of them couldn't match Rooney's skill and desire, they weren;t good enough.
No to me Rooney deserves all the praise he gets and I sincerely hopes he continues that as a manager
As I said before he was the right guy at the wrong time for us
David Nicholls
23 Posted 15/01/2021 at 19:08:27
Great player, but if he stayed I actually think he could have had a more fulfilling career. He could have been to us what Totti was to Roma rather than a cog in the red machine.
Tony Hill
24 Posted 15/01/2021 at 19:13:15
It's a measure of Rooney's greatness that he could achieve outrageous personal success and yet be regarded as a having failed to fulfil himself.

I agree with Andrew Keatley that Rooney was better than Ronaldo and Messi as a teenager and by some margin. He just didn't have the dedicated cast of mind to avoid the smokes, the booze and other, ahem, distractions.

What a joy to have seen him as a superlative, hugely thrilling force.

Dennis Stevens
25 Posted 15/01/2021 at 19:14:42
I think we all expected he would leave, but the hope was that we might get a couple more seasons from him first. Maybe that would have enabled Moyes to progress the team further, faster – possibly even winning a cup, perhaps?

All water under the bridge now.

Phill Thompson
26 Posted 15/01/2021 at 19:22:43
Andrew #21,

I'm in complete agreement with that. People are often surprised “Eh?? He had a great career, all kinds of records etc”.

It starts with being the best 16-year-old I've ever seen, carried on into his teens, and of course was a wonderful wonderful player. But I don't think of him in his later years as a Pele, Cruyff, Maradona, Best, or Messi and Ronaldo. It's hard to think we'll ever have such a player again let alone a homegrown 16-year-old.

As I said a wonderful, wonderful player – but never the best player in the world I once thought he'd be.

Dave Abrahams
27 Posted 15/01/2021 at 19:22:59
I loved the kid from the first time I saw him. I knew about him long before that, that night versus Spurs U18s in FA Youth Cup – he was sensational from the first minute. Everyone who saw him knew he was special – sorry, very, very special... extraordinary special. No doubts by anyone, in fact, most couldn't get home quick enough to tell everyone they knew about him. "Remember the name"? You didn't have to tell us about him, we had never stopped talking about the sensational pugnacious kid from Croxteth.

Darren (12), in that Anfield game you describe so well, if that shot, deflected by Henchoz onto the bar, had gone in, Wayne would have been fined by the FA. His shirt was coming off and on his tee-shirt underneath read "Kopites are Gobshites". This kid, like his dad, was a committed Bluenose.

The least said about Kenwright in the deal that followed, with Wayne going to Man Utd, the better; Everton were robbed. Rooney saved the club financially by signing for United. I never begrudged him going but every goal he scored for United hurt.

He went and I wished him good luck which he didn't really need. He had skill in abundance to have a great career. I didn't want him to come back, he was way past his best, and didn't do justice to the great player he had been. One of the very best I have ever seen in a Blue shirt. For all-round ability, probably the best – he just wasn't here long enough.

Best of luck to him with his managerial career and thanks for those few but very memorial matches when you enthralled us Bluenoses.

Joe McMahon
28 Posted 15/01/2021 at 19:23:09
Darren, a good post.

Although Man Utd were of course winning major silverware before Rooney arrived. Their squad was heaving with quality with so many goalscorers. Everton with Rooney (IMO) would not have competed, as the squad couldn't match. Players such as Cantona, Van Nistelrooy, Andy Cole, Ferdinand, Giggs, Scholes, Schmeichel etc – the quality was incredible. At the same time, look at the Arsenal squad.

We had Kevin Kilbane, a non-scoring Duncan Ferguson, and a negative defensive manager. Why would Rooney want to stay? I don't blame him for leaving, he's won many titles and the Champions League.

David Cash
29 Posted 15/01/2021 at 19:23:42
I'll tell you what, Dazza. You may be an illiterate motherfucker, but you don't half know how to capture the Evertonian moment.

Quite why you choose to spend your time on here winding people up with your crazed confirmation bias is still a mystery to me.

Not being able to get back to Liverpool makes me miss the place so much more than I did when I could just come and go...

David Cash
30 Posted 15/01/2021 at 19:25:41
That may well be emotion brought on by the second bottle of red, but it feels real.
Andrew Keatley
31 Posted 15/01/2021 at 19:30:58
John (22),

It's about potential really.

Obviously Rooney achieved a great deal in his career, but I think he had the potential to achieve so much more.

Whether it was his response to his own success, off-the-field distractions, injuries, weight issues, lack of fitness, his hair transplants, bad people around him, or any other number of other factors that affect players and then find their way onto the pitch, the fleet-footed direct Rooney seemed to prematurely be replaced by a slower, less-explosive player who was still very good, but one who sparked less and was not so capable of the truly remarkable moments that were a feature of the first seven or so years of his career.

Darren Hind
32 Posted 15/01/2021 at 19:41:26
Get back on the port and lemons, Casho.

You always sound like a fanny when you've had a decent bevy.

Dave A,

I had no idea who the deflection came off, but I will always bow to your memory.

You, Johnny Mac and a few others on here defy belief. It doesnt seem to matter whether it happened last month, last year, or 60 years ago. The mental photographs have been taken and preserved.

Ask daft-arsed Casho what he had for his dinner tonight and he won't have a scooby...

Dave Williams
33 Posted 15/01/2021 at 19:48:24
Andrew #31 – great summary.

A brilliant player who gave the best one-man show I've seen when he ripped Ivan Campo to shreds against Bolton at Goodison.

He had to be sold to keep the club afloat, I believe, and I couldn't blame him if he fancied the move as, at that age, he'd be swayed by the lure of trophies rather than struggling to get into the lesser European competitions.

Good luck, Wayne – maybe see you back here again one day?

Stan Schofield
34 Posted 15/01/2021 at 20:06:23
Rooney was simply the best player ever to have played on Merseyside since I’ve been watching football. He was undoubtedly the best British player of his generation, by a mile. A veritable football genius. If his managerial abilities come anywhere close to his abilities as a player, he’ll be a superb manager.
Harry Williams
35 Posted 15/01/2021 at 20:07:40
Good luck, Wayne, I am sure you will be back as the Everton manager one day, what a player.

When Wayne left, the very next season – where did Everton finish? 4th, yep our highest Premier League finish in our history... Not bad for a rubbish team and a defensive manager with a fraction of Man Utd's budget!!!

Dave Abrahams
36 Posted 15/01/2021 at 20:10:40
Darren (32) that game was easy to remember. I was In the front row in the Anfield Road end, bunked in as well. I loved gibbing in at Anfield, especially in derby games. If I gibbed in at Goodison, I always went to confession the next week, honest!!!
Kieran Kinsella
37 Posted 15/01/2021 at 20:17:12
I'm bemused by the "he could have done much more" remarks. The only gap in his resume is a World Cup or European Championship win. The same is true of Messi, Eusebio, Cruyff, Figo, Best, Jon Walters etc.

As an individual with his scoring record for England, coupled with his club scoring record, plus winning every club trophy there was, I think it's a bit weird to talk of unfulfilled potential.

Now, with regard to Everton, I think Dave Abrahams is on the money, so I don't bear him any ill will regarding either of his spells or departures.

Andrew Keatley
38 Posted 15/01/2021 at 20:50:56
Kieran (37),

It shouldn't bemuse you if you know that – as Tony Hill (24) mentions – the teenage Rooney had turned many more heads that future GOAT candidates Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had at similar stages in their careers. I'd even say that Mbappe (who I think is probably the best player of his generation) – in spite of winning the World Cup at 18 – was not as impressive as the teenage Rooney.

Lots of players at Manchester United in that period won the same trophy haul that Wayne Rooney did. It's never trophies that are the ultimate mark of greatness – not in team sport. I hoped and believed that Rooney would build on his phenomenal start – because that is what he was – a phenomenon. That's why I look at his achievements and feel like they are short of what I felt he was capable of as I genuinely believed he would be the player of his generation and be a regular challenger (and winner) for the Ballon D'Or.

John Keating
39 Posted 15/01/2021 at 20:56:22
Wayne Rooney got away from us but an equal deal we lost was a guy mentioned on another thread: Billy Kenny.

Thoroughbred and not only would have driven us on but England lost out. Honestly, I shiver at the thought of him fulfilling his potential with us...

Rob Dolby
40 Posted 15/01/2021 at 21:22:15
Rooney is the best English footballer in my lifetime. Leading goal scorer for England and Man Utd. Being an Evertonian may have influenced my decision, though I can't think of too many that can come anywhere near him.

Most of us felt a massively let down by the club and the player himself at the time of his departure although, in hindsight, the transfer kept the club afloat similar to that of Arteta and Lescott and put him on the stage that he deserved.

If we produced another Rooney in the next couple of years, are we as a club in a better position to keep him away from the clutches of the big guns? The answer is No.

To have any chance of retaining talent, we need to play and compete in the Champions League.

Moise Kean is playing with Neymar and Mbappe. What must Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin think when they line up with Tom Davies and Cenk Tosun against Sheffield Wednesday next week?

Kieran Kinsella
41 Posted 15/01/2021 at 21:27:39
In a similar vein of young Everton hopefuls.

From The Sun today: "Ex-Everton Star in Hot Water after Spa romp with hookers"

Fran Mitchell
42 Posted 15/01/2021 at 21:30:39
Being a lad the same age as Rooney, I remember being in school, football obsessed, telling all my Utd and Liverpool supporting mates of this player who was gonna take Everton to the top.

That game against Arsenal, stood in the Gwladys street end. The goal seemed like the start of something, the start of an era. It was 6 wins on the trot if my memory serves me right, and the best teenager in the world just announced himself to the world.

Unfortunately, that is the end of his story with Everton. He won it all, and we remained in mediocrity. When he left, I was devastated. And the cycle of an Evertonian's life seemed destined – hope, quickly dashed with despair.

He was a fine player. An England legend.

But for Everton, he was nothing more than a goal against Arsenal.

Brendan McLaughlin
43 Posted 15/01/2021 at 22:00:41
When I first saw him play I thought he was a God but then, as they do, he flew too close to the Sun.

Hope he makes it as a manager and comes back to lead us to glory... obviously if Carlo decides to step down.

James Flynn
44 Posted 16/01/2021 at 03:25:51
As brilliant a player as ever stepped on a football pitch anywhere there was a football pitch.
Jay Harris
45 Posted 16/01/2021 at 05:10:49
I'm sorry I just can't get with the Rooney love-in because none of his great moments apart from the Arsenal "goal" were at Everton.

He and his money-grabbing agent took the coin and he became a Man Utd legend instead of a Blue legend.

He then proceeded to mess his career up with his lifestyle of drinking and smoking so the Mancs found a convenient taker in teary Bill to remove the £350k-a-week wages from their wagebill so we got screwed on two counts – undersold him and took him back when he was past his sell-by date at great expense.

Steve Brown
46 Posted 16/01/2021 at 06:53:26
He left Everton too early. He would have become a better player if he had stayed longer as he could have developed his game without being over-coached as he was with Man Utd. He also didn't look after himself properly physically compared to someone like Ronaldo.
Steve Shave
47 Posted 16/01/2021 at 08:05:05
Yes Jay Harris, they pulled our pants down twice, unbelievably bad business BOTH times. Even back in the day, the initial deal should have been closer to £50M. Don't even get me started on the deal that brought him back.

For me it wasn't so much we did bring him back but that we didn't need him. We ran our best no 10 (another one of us) in Barkley out of the club only to sign bloody Rooney and Klaassen, terrible recruitment which set us back spectacularly. Darren Hind, amazing post.

Kevin Molloy
48 Posted 16/01/2021 at 08:06:26
The manner of his leaving could not have been worse, an insult to every Evertonian. And then he compounded this with a hard-faced attitude for the next 10 years. For Wayno it's always been all about him and he's been prepared to throw any and everything under the bus to get what he wanted, as his club's managers and wife will all agree.
Derek Thomas
49 Posted 16/01/2021 at 08:37:43
Left too early? possibly. Returned too late? maybe so. But you could see even then his football brain was still fit, even if he was struggling to keep the body going.

*goes out on a limb* with a few better players around him and Coaches who knew what they doing he could've done exactly what James is doing...if he could but restrain himself from thinking he was still 18 (we've all been there) and wanting to run after every ball like he used to.

In a modern game that is essentially a 10,000m race with sprints every 2 mins, spread over 90+mins. Rooney was burdened with a body more suited to a Middle Weight boxer than a Middle Distance runner.

And he was still 'kin brilliant.

If he can translate his football brain into management he should go far - Good Luck to him.

Peter Mills
50 Posted 16/01/2021 at 10:38:01
Some great posts on here, particularly from Darren#12 and Dave#27.

To watch Wayne play in the youth team was extraordinary. I recall going into work the day after one of the games and told one of my mates that I had seen the next Pele. He just laughed.

I remember one of the goals Rooney laid on. He got crocked, down towards the Bullens Road corner of the Park End penalty area, and could hardly walk. The ball was by the dug-out and Wayne somehow broke into a sprint across the pitch and put in a crunching tackle, taking possession of the ball. He set off with it down the Main Stand touch line, beat a couple of opponents, cut into the Park End penalty area along the goal line, drew the goalie and played a pass for the centre forward to tap the ball into an open net. It was jaw-dropping.

I was at the match at Southampton when he was sub, my pal who lived down there was bemused, and unimpressed, by the clamour and racket for him to come on. Moyes, in his pale beige cardigan-wearing imitation of Sir Alex Ferguson, put the kid back on the bench. It was the start of Moyes’s hopeless, feeble mis-management of the greatest young talent we’ve ever seen.

He’s done very well for himself. It will be fascinating to see whether he can succeed as a manager.

Peter Mills
51 Posted 16/01/2021 at 11:06:07
On a separate, sad note, our former goalkeeper Geoff Barnett has passed away. He was part of the excellent team that won the Youth Cup in 1965.
Brian Harrison
52 Posted 16/01/2021 at 11:14:22
For me Wayne was the most naturally gifted player ever to play for Everton, and I have watched Everton since the 1950s, so I cant comment on Dixie as I never saw him. Everybody in football knew about Wayne long before he played a Premier League game. I remember Alex Ferguson saying that they had been watching him from when he was 14.

He was Man Utds all time top scorer as well as England's top scorer, that is pretty impressive. Will probably be a long time before either record is broken.
Not only did he score a lot of goals he also scored some of the greatest goals, and he was also a great team player. The sadness for Evertonians is that he only wore the Blue shirt at the beginning and the end of his career, and how wonderful it would have been if we had got the financial backing then that we have now, which would have allowed Wayne to stay rather than have to go elsewhere to win trophies. Wayne was and still is a staunch Blue but he knew if he wanted to win league trophies and European trophies he had to move to Man Utd. At best we may have got another season out of him but Paul Gregg scuppered any chance of that happening.

I was lucky that an aunt lived next door to Wayne and his family and I was to play in a golf charity event, so I asked her would it be possible for her to ask Wayne to sign a shirt that could be auctioned off. He said of course so at 12.00 on the day of our home game I went to my aunts house and she took me round to see Wayne who was extremely shy, and he signed our Salmon pink away kit. The shirt raised over £2,500 for charity, being selfish I wished I had taken another shirt along that I could have kept.

I think one day Wayne will either come back and manage us or Man Utd, lets hope its us as I think he will become an excellent manager.

John Keating
53 Posted 16/01/2021 at 12:06:23
I remember we all went up to Scotland for some pre-season friendlies. Everyone had heard about Rooney but he'd not played in the first team then, I think.

When he came on, it was brilliant to watch him and mad Tommy Gravesen take the piss out of Dunfermline. They were trying to outdo each other with the most outrageous play.

There was only one person both the Blues and Pars supporters were talking about in the ale house afterwards...

Thomas Richards
54 Posted 16/01/2021 at 12:22:58
Jay 45,

The best individual performance of any Everton player I have ever seen, in all my years of watching the Blues, came in 0-0 draw with Bolton.

He was 17 years of age.

Jay Wood

55 Posted 16/01/2021 at 12:41:58
On Wayne's leaving graffiti quickly appeared on the walls of Goodison:

'You could have been a God, but you chose to be a Devil.'

It hurt the fan base deeply as his return visits to Goodison demonstrated. And being the young scally that he was, he milked it, positively thrived on it.

Personally, I don't begrudge him one iota that he left us. He had God-given talent. A burning ambition to succeed. He would never have left us if the structure was in place to succeed at Everton. It wasn't.

To portray Wayne in the poor light as some have in this thread astonishes me. To accuse him of not being a 'True Blue' is a denial of how he raised his own kids. To confuse career and business decisions with heart and soul.

Coming off the back of his astounding performance at Euro 2004, he was merely the pawn in a power game between British football's most successful (and hardnosed) manager ever; his perjury-stained agent; and our own master of the spectacle, the Everton club chairman. An 18-year-old from Crocky was not the evil, manipulative, cat-stroking Blofeld behind his move.

As for the notion expressed by some that he never fulfilled his teenage potential, 120 England caps, 763 senior appearances for four different clubs, five Premier League titles, an FA Cup, three EFL Cups, a Champions League, a Europa League and England's and Manchester United's record goalscorer, rather tells a different story.

Watching how he manages is going to be interesting. The BBC have penned this report on how he landed the Derby job full-time. He appears a more studious and less volatile persona as a manager than he was as a player.

Wayne Rooney The Manager

No begrudgement from me. I wish him well.

Paul Hewitt
56 Posted 16/01/2021 at 13:13:14
Evertonian my arse. He begged to leave us. We should never have got him back either.
Dennis Stevens
57 Posted 16/01/2021 at 13:20:30
The romantic in me likes the idea that Rooney might return to Everton as Manager & in that capacity fulfill the ambitions he was never able to as an Everton player.

I don't understand the bitterness towards him, did people really expect him to be our equivalent of Steve Bull?

Martin Nicholls
58 Posted 16/01/2021 at 13:47:02
I agree everything said on here about his performances with us and his failure (aided and abetted by whisky nose) to become the world star that he should have done. However, Evertonian?? I'm with Paul Hewitt - how does he differ from other boyhood Blues like Fowler, McManaman, Gerard, Owen, Carragher? Saying you're an Evertonian and actually being one are two different things - dressing your kid in EFC pyjamas doesn't make you an Evertonian!
Stuart Sharp
59 Posted 16/01/2021 at 14:13:48
Come on, he is an Evertonian. His former Manc teammates ribbed him for it. Maybe a more devout fan wouldn't have left. But how many young, impressionable and supremely talented teenagers wouldn't have their head turned by the thought of lots of trophies. If we are to believe what is said and written about him, he remains a fan who didn't want his kids supporting any other team. Would he have played for Liverpool like the other players you mention? I doubt it. So do his family, if I remember rightly. Was gutted when he left, but comparing him with the like of Carragher is harsh. To be honest, that comparison would be harsh on Satan.
Bobby Mallon
60 Posted 16/01/2021 at 14:51:06
Rooney is the best English player of the last 30 yrs. I don’t care if he left he’s a passionate Everton fan and those that lambast him for kissing a badge of another team, so would of you if you had had the stick he got for moving clubs. Shame on those out there that gave him that stick.
Brian Murray
61 Posted 16/01/2021 at 14:58:59
Bobby. Call it petty or insular but the day he left he became just a passing interest to me like any ex player. No bitterness just he means sod all. There’s a difference. Coyb let’s have a great January on and off the pitch ( Marcel )
Kevin Molloy
62 Posted 16/01/2021 at 15:04:48
it amazes me the levels of forgiveness for Wayne we see among the fanbase. I wonder if there are similar threads on redcafe 'oh yes, you can't blame the kid for threatening to join city, he's got to look after his wife and kids' or what praise for Gerrard there would have been on rawk if he had abandoned liverpool at 18 to hoover up trophies with a manchester team 'you can't blame the kid for having his head turned, who would n't want to play for such a fine side?'
It was HIS decision to cause the brouhaha, he wanted something and so he kicked his toys out of the pram til he got it, not giving a shit about the consequences (which bookies at the time felt was relegation for us after the way we'd finished the season before, thanks to shithead downing tools the way he did). And he's done that right through his career.
Stuart Sharp
63 Posted 16/01/2021 at 15:18:14
There are plenty of things he did that I wouldn't defend, especially off the park. Just think it's daft to claim he's not an Evertonian. I don't think we can really claim to know the ins and out of his decision making process. All I know is that he provided a brief period of huge excitement and pride on match days which had been missing for a while. I have moved on from the disappointment of his exit.
Bobby Mallon
64 Posted 16/01/2021 at 17:00:42
Brian 61.

I agree with you. He left, I moved on... he moved on – and Everton moved on. We got into Europe and, for me, that was that.

I don't care what he did off the field – I bet there are worse things done by people on here.

Tony Abrahams
65 Posted 16/01/2021 at 17:30:59
I'm with Dave W, and Thomas R, because the finest ever “live” individual performance I've ever witnessed by any player, was by the 17-year-old Rooney, that day against Bolton.

Incredible he never scored but it wasn't through a lack of trying, and to see him with his hands cupped by his sides, constantly asking for the ball, was a thing of beauty for anyone who loves to watch great footballers.

I don't blame him for leaving but I will never understand why he didn't want to stay a little bit longer at his boyhood club, unless he was privately told it was for the good of Everton Football Club... or for the greatest Evertonian in the world.

Alan J Thompson
67 Posted 17/01/2021 at 10:50:35
At the time, I regretted Rooney leaving Everton and always thought anyone claiming to be such an ardent Evertonian could have always said "No!".

But then, he was a young lad and would have been getting all sorts from the many sources around him – not least Agents, Directors and those said to have had interests in his newly acquired agent.

For me, a day of shame for all those so-called Blues involved in what could be described as a very dodgy deal.

Phill Thompson
68 Posted 17/01/2021 at 12:19:42
On a different perspective, over the past year Rooney has written a number of very articulate and perceptive articles on football team tactics. Sometimes the early years of a young manager's career can be a bit hit-and-miss depending on where they are but I have no doubt he has the football intelligence to be a decent manager.
Justin Doone
69 Posted 19/01/2021 at 23:04:11
3 simple reasons why Rooney left:

Everton (the whole club) was in a complete mess on and off the pitch with little chance of turning it around anytime soon. £50M in debt with a huge tax bill, I vaguely remember.

An opportunity to join a huge, successful winning club that believed in him and were willing to pay him and his club an absolute fortune for him. This was before mega money entered the Premier League.

If at 18 years old you're already head and shoulders the best player at a club (or believed you were), then of course you would want to challenge yourself to improve and win things.

It was a very good deal for both Everton and Rooney. Gutted, yes, but we couldn't keep him happy and we needed the money.

Could we have bargained harder, got another million or two? Possibly, but that doesn't change any of the above reasons.

Anyway, yes he, Cahil, Arteta and Phil Neville we're the likely future coaches and managers. Be interesting what the next 10 years prove to be for them.

Derek Thomas
70 Posted 19/01/2021 at 00:07:30
Dave @ 65; Your last paragraph wouldn't surprise me one little bit... and I fancy it's more or less true.

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