Rooney’s SIMON ASHURST reflects on Wayne United… success-laden years with Manchester
A Manchester United fan pays tribute
WAYNE Rooney, what an absolute legend, not just for Manchester United but for England, too. Joining United when he was only 18, scoring a hat-trick on his debut and then going on to score 253 goals for United and becoming club captain.
On the international front, 53 goals for England, making his debut when he was just 17 and then going on to captain England, too.
Let’s be honest, yes, he did deteriorate in the last two or three seasons, but think about the ten years’ worth of work he’d put in to United prior to his decline.
Any real Manchester United fan would not be slating him, I can’t believe I’m seeing him being abused on Twitter. All of a sudden, he’s a fat Scouse b*****d, but that fat Scouse b*****d did so much for us.We wouldn’t have won three Premier League titles in a row if Rooney hadn’t been knocking about.
These so-called fans need to respect his decision to return to his boyhood club for one or two seasons and then call it a day, it’s the best way really.
When we first signed him, I thought right, he’s good but I’m not too keen on this ‘he’s a Scouser, but he’s our Scouser’. (Wow, never would I have thought I could freely write ‘he’s our Scouser’).
Moving on, quickly, let’s take a look at how we first found out about the gem that is Wayne ‘£300k-a-week’ Rooney.
He burst onto the scene with that incredible late winner for Everton against Arsenal in October 2002, the ball hitting the underside of the crossbar just above poor David Seaman’s reach. A 16-year-old unknown had ended Arsenal’s 30game undefeated Premiership run.
In the summer of 2004, Rooney was wanted by multiple teams. Everton declined a £20 million offer from Newcastle but they accepted a bid of £25.6m from Manchester United – and the rest is history.
What a dream debut Wayne had: scoring a hat-trick in the Champions League against Fenerbahce.
From that defining point, we all knew we were in for something special, and the next 13 seasons brought beyond what we expected. So many goals, so many well-built partnerships over the years and so much passion put into his career, good and bad.
For example, the time he got banned for swearing in front of a Sky Sports camera after a comeback against West Ham. That didn’t deserve a ban.
All players swear, it was just a shame the adrenalin got to him and he did that, but I think a hefty fine would have been more appropriate.
When things like that happen in football, it
gets to me. Aren’t we allowed to be f*****g passionate anymore?
And the volley against Newcastle, we all remember that. His goal against Stoke last season, that amazing free-kick from a bit of a dodgy angle,
He still has that flair, but, unfortunately, it just wasn’t there as much as it used to be, which is a massive shame.
I would have loved him to have finished his career at United but I can understand completely why he made the decision he did.
He won a fair bit, too. Back in 2002, he was named BBC’s Young Sports Personality of the Year.
In the 09/10 season, he won Premier League Player of the Year and I won’t forget to mention the five Premier League titles, one FA Cup, four League Cups, five Community Shields, one FIFA Club World Cup, one Europa League and last, but not least, one Champions League.
My personal favourite memory of Rooney is, of course, the out-of-thisworld derby day bicycle kick.
I watched it again the other day with Titanic music over it. As a 24-year-old man, I have no shame in saying it brought a tear to my eye.
How dare he do that in front of not only 76,000 at Old Trafford but the millions watching at home? And poor, poor Joe Hart just stood and watched.
It made it even better that it was a winning goal on derby day. If that had been against any other team in the Premier League it wouldn’t have meant as much.
I fell off my chair, it was that good, and to do that iconic celebration in front of a few thousand GUTTED City fans was mint, too.
Off the pitch, I don’t think he did much wrong. Yeah, he had a drink now and then but every footballer is allowed a break, surely?
I suppose if you’re as rich as Rooney you’re alright to walk into a casino and walk out thousands of pounds down, not to worry though, he earnt it back in four hours.
Overall, Rooney has been at United for 13 seasons, I’ve watched him since I was 11.
Rooney and Ronaldo were easily one of the best double acts ever to play in the Premier League and I’m so glad to say I was there to witness it.
Then there’s all the rest, the goal that trickled past Joe Hart in the 3-2 win in the FA Cup, the goal at Anfield where he nearly broke the net and we went on to win 1-0.
There are so many memories I could take up over half of the magazine telling you about them.
Wayne, there are simply too many words to describe how good you were at United. Thanks.
Making his name: Wayne Rooney celebrates his dramatic winner for Everton against Arsenal
Magic moment: Wayne Rooney scores his wonder goal against Manchester City