Ten years ago, when kids of my age called Superman and Spiderman their superheroes, I treated this man as my Superhero. When people asked me whether my favorite player was Ronaldo or Messi, I used to proudly tell them- “Wayne Rooney” when no one dared saying that. And there were times when I had nightmares of this man leaving the club and leaving me tattered.
Today though, that has come true. It will be strange to have Manchester United without the man who has been a fantastic servant to the club.
I remember watching him as that teenager who brought a smile to the kid’s face every week and his passion, drive and determination to never give up inspired me and will keep on inspiring me throughout my life. His never satiating hunger to give his all for the team used to be so satisfying that he was very often the best player on the pitch, despite being the smallest out there.
Even today, if you happen to ask me about who my favorite player is, I can’t pick out a single player apart from Wazza himself. Others may ooze flair and panache, but they never had the desire to cover blade of grass on the pitch to put the team’s priorities before his own. So much so that even when he scored the record-breaking 251st goal, he didn’t celebrate at all.
Because the game at Stoke wasn’t won. If that’s not called commitment for the club, I can’t imagine what is!
People hated him for everything that he is, but there’s no one better in silencing critics by coming up with a scintillating performance on the pitch. When people abused him off the pitch, he shut them up and left them gagged by performing on the pitch. When others came and left, he stood firm.
After years of putting the club before his own priorities, it’s time he finally puts his own ones before anything else. He still has two or three decent years left and while I won’t sleep well because this terrific journey’s coming to an end, it’s time he departs and starts proving people wrong again- something Wayne Rooney’s always been about and always will be.
He’ll be hated and will be laughed at by many, but the man’s been through it all. He does his talking on the pitch. And fifty years on , when people will ask me about who my favorite player was, I will smile and proudly take this battler’s name. The battler who brought a smile that kid’s face.
Can’t really thank this man enough and I really do fall short of words to describe him and what he’s achieved. I’ll miss chanting your name every time you took to the pitch, but will continue to defend you when no one does.
Thanks for making me fall in love with the game, Wayne Rooney. There will never be another you ever again.
My Superman. Forever.
“Remember the name, Wayne Rooney.”