Plau­dits pour in for record scorer Rooney

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

LON­DON: Wayne Rooney earned a col­lec­tive salute from the foot­ball world on Satur­day af­ter be­com­ing Manch­ester United’s most pro­lific goalscorer.

Af­ter net­ting his record­break­ing 250th goal for the Premier League gi­ants, Rooney’s achieve­ment was lauded by Bobby Charl­ton, the player whose land­mark he had sur­passed. Af­ter watch­ing him score a fit­tingly daz­zling stop­page-time free-kick to snatch a 1-1 draw at Stoke City, Charl­ton – whose Eng­land scor­ing record was also bro­ken by Rooney – con­grat­u­lated the United No 10 in the dress­ing-room.

“It is an in­cred­i­ble achieve­ment for his ca­reer to have Manch­ester United’s record and one that be­longed to a leg­end like Bobby Charl­ton,” United man­ager Jose Mour­inho said. “Now he is the man and he is a leg­end of Manch­ester United.”

Charl­ton scored the last of his 249 United goals more than 40 years ago.

“I must ad­mit that I have be­come used to the hon­our of be­ing the club’s all-time top scorer,” Charl­ton told the United web­site. “I would be ly­ing to say I’m not dis­ap­pointed to have lost the record. How­ever, I can hon­estly say I’m de­lighted for Wayne. He de­serves his place in the his­tory books.

“He is a true great for club and coun­try, and it is fit­ting that he is now the high­est scorer for both United and Eng­land.” Charl­ton said it had been to great to watch Rooney since his ar­rival at Old Traf­ford in 2004 when he scored a stun­ning hat-trick on his de­but.

“I was 35 when I re­tired,” Charl­ton said. “Wayne is only 31 and still go­ing strong, so I don’t think he’s done by a long stretch yet. He will raise the bar even fur­ther be­fore he calls it a day.

“Now he’s the man to beat, and I can’t see any­body do­ing that for a long, long time.”

Alex Fer­gu­son, Manch­ester United’s for­mer man­ager who signed Rooney from Ever­ton, also of­fered his congratulations. “Wayne thor­oughly de­serves his place in the his­tory books of this great club and I am sure that he will go on to score many more,” Fer­gu­son said.

Two of Eng­land’s great­est strik­ers chipped in with praise. “What a player. What a ca­reer,” tweeted Alan Shearer while Gary Lineker de­scribed his record­break­ing strike as a goal that Charl­ton him­self would have been proud of.

As for Rooney, he treated the land­mark with typ­i­cal hu­mil­ity, barely able to be­lieve he had sur­passed Eng­land’s old World Cup hero.

“Sir Bobby is such an iconic fig­ure, and has been for so long. When you sign for the club, you re­alise how im­por­tant he is. To sur­pass him in goals is some­thing I never thought I’d do,” Rooney said.

“I’m a team player but records are im­por­tant. When you fin­ish your ca­reer you can look back on it and tell your kids.” – Reuters

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