This week saw Everton star Wayne Rooney make his last appearance for England. And to celebrate his success over the years, we thought we’d take a look back at where his career all began.
Join us as we take a step back in time to the early 2000s, when Rooney first took to the pitch for Everton Football Club.
At 9 years old, Rooney joined the Everton youth team. Just 7 years later, he made his professional debut for the club at the age of 16.? The football icon had been a fan of Everton growing up, so it was a dream for Rooney to play for the club.? Rooney’s first game was on the opening day of the 2002/03 campaign but it was on 19th October, 2002 that he really made an impression.
Rooney had already earned the title of youngest ever scorer for the team when he scored two late goals in the second half of a game against Wrexham. While this achievement was a memorable one, he felt the league was when he really needed to shine. Leading up to Everton’s match against Arsenal, the pressure had kicked in, and he’d been unable to score in training. At this point, Arsenal were Double Winners with a 30-match streak to be broken.
That being said, any nerves that may have crept up on Rooney were scarce to be seen on the big day. As full time approached, the ball was 30 yards from the goal. To onlookers, a strike from the young player may have seemed unlikely. But defying the odds, Rooney scored the wining goal in the final minute of the game with natural flair and confidence.
It was a momentous occasion in the football star’s early career, as the win saw the young striker earn the title of the youngest ever player to score a league goal for Everton and in the Premiership. This stunning achievement came just five days before his 17th birthday!
Two weeks after this iconic win, Rooney was the only player to score in Everton’s away match against Leeds United, which ended with a 1-0 victory. After such an impressive start to what became a fantastic football career, it’s no surprise that by January 2003, the Toffees awarded Rooney with his first professional contract.
And with Rooney hanging up his boots for England, it’s a poignant time to look back at Rooney’s illustrious time at Everton. On the day of Rooney’s winning goal against Arsenal, ToffeeWeb wrote:
“A bright future lies ahead for the boy who turns 17 in just a few days, poised as he is to continue the legacy of Everton’s famous strikers of yesteryear.”
It’s safe to say that Rooney proved them right.
The Dixie Dean Hotel is a set to complete Liverpool’s upcoming Football Quarter. The luxury venue will sit opposite the famous Shankly Hotel, which celebrates the life of Liverpool’s iconic football manager.
The unique hotel will offer Everton fans an exclusive football experience, perfect for overnight stays, watching the match and enjoying unseen memorabilia. To keep up with the latest news and developments, head over to our Facebook page or check back to the blog soon.
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