A Sporting Hero…We’ve Just Never Taken to

This weekend could quite possibly see Wayne Rooney crowned England’s all-time top goal-scorer. Every previous incarnation of that accolade has been hailed a national treasure…a sporting great to be admired and respected.

At a time when football in this country is on a crest of media saturation are there youngsters out there who will be inspired by the achievements of Wayne Rooney?

In the event of that final goal…will Rooney be elevated to that rarest of all breeds…the National Treasure nobody really likes.


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I didn’t know that record was up for grabs today. Against San Marino too!!!

Now I’m just depressed. :frowning:

Rooney is a character that it’s very easy to get judgemental about for all sorts of reasons, be it personal indiscretions, his fitness, extra-curricular risks to his fitness, like smoking, etc. I think a great deal of that is unfair, and I’d go as far to say that the media glare that he lives under has limited what he can achieve, but he’s also done a lot of that himself, especially when it has come to contract negotiations or fucking off out of Everton at the earliest opportunity.

He could well be one of these characters to get a revisionist appraisal, especially if he becomes a pundit and people realise he’s not actually an expectant little plum all the time.

How old are you Pap?

This has been a British trait since time began.

Rooney the wonderkid. Was never out of the papers. Now he’s a chav

Andy Murray the next great hope. The media did such a job on him that my Mum won’t even watch him on the TV

Ian Botham was the greatest thing since sliced bread then was a Dope Head P1ss Artist (Remove the Dope & Andrew Flintoff got the same treatment).

And to be fair at least the Yanks joined in for the destruction of Tiger Woods.

And Gazza?

You build up your sporting stars and then the inbuilt nature of Brits - a hatred of success or simple jealousy comes out to play.

All your icons go through the same process before eventually (normally after they retire) their legendary status becomes part of sentiment (in the case of Ronney after he retires as you look back on his career while watching Vardy & Kane)

Oh and yeah Harry Kane - Jeez he didn’t even get a full season as the next big thing before you all destroyed him!

For me Rooney will never be a legend. That WC Quarter Final against Portugal saw to that - in the same way Beckham will never be a legend because of the game against Argentina in '98. Talented yes.

But they never made that final step up. They both had moments in time when their actions helped stop England winning something.

Win Euro 2016 and yes I’ll give him his due.


England’s top goal-scorers have all experienced the negative aspect of the media spotlight at some time or other: Charlton for his family feuds, Lineker for replacing his wife with a much younger model, Greaves for his alcoholism, Owen for his gambling; but none more so than Rooney.

From the start, seventeen year-old Wayne and Coleen were labelled king and queen of the chavs by certain sections of the media, and some have tainted them with this image ever since. Sure, as Pap has already alluded to, Rooney doesn’t help himself at times with some of his actions; but, frankly, which one of us doesn’t act like a twat at times?

The other thing that doesn’t help: the same damn media that relishes digging the dirt on Rooney also - when it suits them! - labels him a world-class player, which for most of the time he palpably isn’t.

But, very soon, Rooney will become England’s leading goal-scorer, and that’s a very fine and proud achievement; however, with 44 goals in just 57 appearances (and not a single penalty amongst them), Greaves still retains the title of England’s greatest goal-scorer, imo.

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I think some of those “media targets” like Botham, Gazza, Flintoff, Greaves never really suffered at the hands of the public because they had “the lovable rogue” and possibly an anti-establishment air about them. Rooney’s not helped by the outwardly morose charisma by-pass air.

The British public embrace the restained “gentleman” or the “jack the lad”. Rooney set his stall out early and has never recovered. It’ll be interesting if he can re-invent himself after he retires.


I consider myself to be a ‘restained gentleman’.

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I’m a freelance cameraman, mostly do Sky Sports. Have met and worked with all sorts. Ian Botham is an awful person, Gazza is very fragile and surrounded by people who don’t have his best interests. Haven’t met Jimmy Greaves.

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I think we’d all agree with that Matt :smile:

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The public’s perceptions of “celebs” is all about how they conduct themselves in front of the camera unfortunately. Not the real world is it…very few of us will get to know any of them intimately which is obviously the best way to form an accurate opinion.

I have always felt sorry for Greaves. He was clearly the most prolific striker in the 60s but didnt fit in with Ramsey’s plans and wasnt in the team that lifted the World Cup. I believe, many years later, he was given a medal for being part of the squad (in those days only them team got medals not the whole squad) but I think he subsequently sold it. It must be tough to be at the top of your game but still get left out. I guess MLT will know to some extent how that feels.

I have never warmed to Rooney. He was clearly gifted as a youngester but has never really reached the point where you could say he was World Class IMO. It may well have more to do with his make up than his techinical ability, who knows? For whatever reason, even when he does become the highest scorer, I am sure many will feel that he never fully fulfilled that early potential. For me Charlton’s acheivement will always be greater because he was part of the team that lifted the World Cup and his goals helped get us there. I doubt very much whether Rooney will ever achieve that.


My Dad was next to Botham at the bar at La Manga and said a kid came up to Botham and asked for an autograph and was promptly told to eff off. My Dad loved his cricket and Botham was a bit of a hero but from that point on he didnt have a good word to say for him.

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Rooney is just a little bit unlikeable and his international record isn’t good enough to smother that.

In club games opposition players can create respect if nothing else - take Lampard as an example.

Like Rooney and Gerrard, never delivered for England on the big occasion, but a great club player, so it’s difficult to be offended by him.

Whereas we have John Terry - great player, horrible human being, ditto Suarez.

Much of it is about how players conduct themselves and despite fairly decent behaviour for a footballer, Rooney just doesn’t come across that well.

I’m a Rooney fan.

I think it’s probably fair to say he isn’t world class, but o think he’s been England’s best player and talisman for the past decade.

i think largely, the problem is England. We never know how to use our best players. We think, they’re a really good player, let’s play them out of position to make room for someone less good to play on their position. Another example of this is Scholes. Why the fuck we played him on the left I will never understand.

i know it seems counterintuitive, but I often wonder if Rooneys workrate and desire work against him? Maybe, he’d be better/more prolific if he didn’t run all round the pitch, and just stayed up top in the final 3rd?

I’d also argue this has impacted his goals:games ratio. Whilst others, correctly, point at others with better records on that front. I don’t think many of them spent as much time not playing as out and out strikers like Rooney has.

I’m not trying to say he is the best player to ever pull on an England shirt, or even better than others mentioned above in this post. But he is certainly a very, very good player and deserves his place in the history of the England national team and to be remembered more fondly than he is currently thought of.

put it this way, I’d take him at Saints in a heart beat. Not sure we’d be able to match his wages though, sadly (I’m sure that is the only obstacle, of course).

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Fair comment, Rooney has scored some great goals, but Lineker scored big goals at World Cups, and he makes nice crisps.

That’s how you gain affection rather than respect.

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Maybe if he didn’t berate the referee and behave like such a baby in almost every game he plays, he would command a little more respect. That and a decent haircut/head shine coupled with curtailing the granny fucking.

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Shit - I’ve reached an age where he and I share a hobby…


:blush: Me too.

A very good Premier League striker and little more.

The beneficiary of England continuing to be seeded flatteringly in Qualifying stages of major tournaments, and seemingly only playing International friendlies on ‘Beginner’ difficulty.

And he is also happy to poke fun at himself (ears) so fair play for that too. Could you imagine Wazza as the frontman for Match of the Day?