A young boy steps onto the pitch into the cauldron that is the Theatre of Dreams. This boy with a £30 million price tag to his name and expectations like no other shows the world what he can do. Clive Tyldesley said never to forget his name. Thirteen years and 250 goals later, his name will never be forgotten by any football fan.
Growing up as a Manchester United fan I had two favourite players, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney. From this time, whenever someone asked me, who my role model is, I would respond that it is Rooney. His tenacity and never say die attitude on the pitch was a great inspiration to me. He was the reason for my dream of wanting to play professional football. Although this never worked out for me, his impact on my life cannot be understated.
I may not have always watched every game in which Rooney has worn the United shirt, but when I did there was always that feeling in me that if we needed a goal to win or draw the game, Rooney would be the one to deliver, and deliver he did.
His record-breaking 250th goal could not have come in more of a Rooney fashion. An incredible free kick that earned a point for United when no one could seem to crack the Stoke City defence epitomised the player that Rooney is.
Although his feisty nature got him into trouble on a number of occasions, without it, I am sure there is no way he would have become that the player that he is.
All the criticism that Rooney has been given over the past few years, is unfounded as he gave so much to the club that he never deserved any of it. Although he may have lost that scoring touch that he had, he is still the same player that stepped onto the Old Trafford pitch thirteen years ago.
Unfortunately, he did not get the true send-off that he deserves while in the United shirt with the criticism that he faced as well as not being able to feature in a large portion of the games over the last couple campaigns. Fortunately, the last time he wore a United shirt was lifting the Europa League trophy but again he did not play in the final.
Hopefully when he returns to Old Trafford on 17 September he will get the proper send-off that a legend such as he deserves.