Wayne Rooney to return to Everton

Wayne Rooney will play once again for Everton, the team for whom he debuted so spectacularly in 2002 as a 16 year-old, before moving to Manchester United in 2004. Unfortunately, Rooney will don the Royal Blue jersey for only one game — the testimonial match for Everton legend Duncan Ferguson.

Rooney explained:

As a young lad growing up in Croxteth, Duncan Ferguson was a hero of mine. As a young player at the club he was an inspiration and when I broke into the first team he helped and looked after me.

I cannot think of a better way to thank Dunc for all he did for me than turning out in his fully deserved testimonial match. Had he not asked me to play I would have gone and supported him on the day as I am sure most other Evertonians will.

Big Dunc responded:

I’m absolutely delighted that the wee man has agreed to play in the game. Everybody knows that we go way back. I knew him as a kid. He’s a top man and I’m proud as his friend that he’s fulfilled the potential we always knew was there.

Wayne’s a world-class player and I’m genuinely thrilled that he will play on the day, just as I’m so grateful to the club for putting on this game.

Ferguson hasn’t ruled out playing in the match himself. Hide the women and children.

Rooney has gradually repaired his relationship with the Everton faithful which took a massive hit due to the way he departed and some of the “afters.” His appearance for Ferguson’s testimonial will do even more to heal old wounds.

There is, I believe, a decent chance that Rooney will return to Everton for good in a few years. However, it’s probably just as likely that he will take his talents to the U.S., as fellow English stars Steve Gerrard and Frank Lampard have done.