making a lasting impression on now-Academy manager Paul McGuinness some years earlier.
In an Under-9s match between United and Everton, McGuinness remembers: "Rooney scored the perfect bicycle kick, which for a kid of eight or nine years old was really something special." It merely hinted at what was to follow and, of course, it was a trick he would repeat on the biggest of stages in the Manchester derby, netting a goal that will be repeated forever more.
By the end of the 2004/05 campaign, his first in a red shirt after signing from boyhood club Everton, Rooney had amassed 17 goals in 43 appearances, and was rightly named PFA Young Player of the Year. Rooney’s second season at Old Trafford again saw him take huge strides. He ended the season with 19 goals in 48 matches and was voted both Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year by fans and PFA Young Player of the Year (again) by his fellow professionals, with United clinching the Carling Cup.
Despite a difficult World Cup with England in summer 2006, Rooney went on to net 23 times for United as the Reds lifted a first English title in four years. Cristiano Ronaldo stole all the headlines in 2007/08, but Rooney chipped in with another 18