Rooney goes over Neville’s head
When Rooney was just a little boy, he appeared as a mascot in a Merseyside derby and took part in the traditional routine of helping to warm up the goalkeeper, who was Welsh international Southall.
But instead of testing him with shots, the cheeky 11-year-old proceeded to chip Southall time and time again, to the amusement of the other players.
As Dave Watson, the Toffees' captain that day, recalled, the then 39-year-old ‘Big Nev’ was not a happy man.
“The mascot would usually just go out and warm up Big Nev. But Wayne kept chipping him and Nev was getting really p*ssed off about it," he told The Sun.
“The thing with Nev is that he doesn’t really have a polite way of saying things. So it wasn’t a case of ‘Excuse me son, pack that in’ - he just told him to ‘f***ing stop that, you little so and so!’”
And Rooney’s rise to stardom since does not surprise Watson.
“Wayne has always going to make a living from the game but I don’t think anyone could have anticipated how well he would get on and in such a short space of time,” he said.
“The academy is producing plenty of kids and Wayne’s a figurehead for them."