It was exactly 15 years ago today, a teenage prodigy took to the Old Trafford pitch and over the course of the following 13 years, he captivated, mesmerised, pleased and teased the United fans in equal measure.
His performances in a United shirt firmly established the iconic status he so thoroughly deserves to this day and he has firmly secured his Legend status among the many great players who performed so majestically at The Theatre of Dreams.
John White, the author of 17 Manchester United books, recalls Wayne Rooney’s United debut.
On 28 September 2004, Wayne Rooney made his Manchester United debut following his £25.6 million plus move from Everton, the highest transfer fee ever paid for a played aged under 20 at the time. The 18-year old Rooney’s performances for England at the 2004 European Championships in Portugal had impressed Sir Alex Ferguson who signed him on 31 August 2004. But the teenage striker’s United debut was delayed as he suffered a broken metatarsal during the summer tournament. Rooney’s first game for United was a UEFA Champions League Group match versus Fenerbahce, a game in which he scored a perfect hat-trick (left foot, right foot, free kick) and provided an assist in United’s 6-2 win at Old Trafford. The word “Legend” is sometimes used out of context when describing a player’s contribution to a football club. But make no mistake about it; Wayne Rooney is a Manchester United Legend.
Wayne Rooney is Manchester United’s all-time leading scorer and the only player to have scored 250 goals for the club. He reached the milestone when he broke Sir Bobby Charlton’s long-standing record of 249 goals on 21 January 2017, a superb free kick minutes from time in a 1-1 Premier League draw with Stoke City at the bet365 Stadium. Rooney’s goal was his 250th in 545 games for Manchester United, reaching the landmark in 217 matches and four seasons quicker than Charlton.
Wayne left United on 9 July 2017 to re-join Everton, the club he has supported since he was a young boy growing up in Croxteth, Liverpool. In total Wayne played 559 games for United and scored 253 goals.
What memories do you have of Wayne and do you ever think his goal scoring record for us will be surpassed?
Rooney! Rooney! Rooney!
Did You Know That?
In season 1996-97, forty years after United first played a competitive game in Europe (1956-57), United lost their first ever European tie at home when Fenerbahce won 1-0 at Old Trafford on 30 October 1996 in a UEFA Champions League Group C tie.
Written by John White
Carryduff Manchester United Supporters’ Club
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