Saturday 19 August 2017

Wayne Rooney scored a stunner on his Everton return that fans had seen somewhere before

Almost 15 years later, history (sort of) repeated itself.

Wayne Rooney scores for Everton as a teenager (Nick Potts/PA)
Wayne Rooney scores for Everton as a teenager (Nick Potts/PA)

By Max McLean

Wayne Rooney doesn’t quite have the youthful vigour he did when he scored his first league goal for Everton almost 15 years ago, but his first goal upon his return to the club did hint at the player he used to be.

In a pre-season game for the Toffees against Kenyan Premier League team Gor Mahia, Rooney turned on the style when he scored from 30 yards.

After 13 years at Manchester United, what a fitting way to reintroduce yourself to the fans.

Keen fans of Everton and the Premier League back when it was called the Premiership might recognise some similarities between this Rooney “debut” goal and his first, all the way back in 2002.

As the 2002/03 season entered October, Arsenal travelled to Everton with a 30-game unbeaten run, but saw it ended when a 16-year-old Rooney scored from 25 yards in wonderful fashion.

As goals go, 31-year-old Rooney’s goal has a lot in common with 16-year-old Rooney’s ground-breaking effort.

Since that goal Rooney won almost everything after moving to Manchester United in 2004 – five Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy later, he’s back with the Toffees.

One man who was on the pitch when Rooney scored his momentous goal was Kevin Campbell, who was pretty happy to see the Rooney of old.

As commentator Clive Tyldesley said on that afternoon in October 2002: “Remember the name – Wayne Rooney.”

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