In his exclusive interview with the Evening News, Wayne Rooney has reflected on October 2010 when he dropped the bombshell of wanting to leave United for a club that could meet his ambition.
After changing his mind, he lifted United’s record breaking 19th title at the end of the season, making them the most successful English club in history, as well as scoring in the Champions League final, making a mockery out of his suggestion that United weren’t a match for him.
Rooney has today again claimed that he made a big mistake and he is grateful that the club welcomed him back.
“You learn from things. When I look back I realised very quickly I made a mistake,” he said. “It wasn’t my position to say what I said. I went to see the manager and David Gill and told them I thought I had made a big mistake and can we sort it out. I asked what can we do from here. It took just 12 hours to sign a new contract. It is an episode that I am not proud of but it has helped me because it has given me great desire and hunger to be more successful at this club. They could have turned round and made it very difficult for me but to be fair to the two of them, the manager and David Gill, they have been fantastic. They brought me back into the team and the club and, from then on, I knew I had to repay the faith they had shown me. I think since then I have scored a lot of goals for the club and the fans. I know they must have been disappointed with what happened but they have been fantastic with me since. I told them I was wrong and I am grateful they accepted it and we were all able to move on from it.”
It took a while for Rooney to apologise to the fans, with some showing up to games with banners saying “Coleen forgave you. We won’t”. Whilst his name is still cheered when the line-up is read out ahead of the game, there is a clear difference in how the fans react to him. That’s not to say he is shunned, but he was idolised before this incident, whereas now his contribution to the team is just appreciated, rather than worshipped. Rooney is grateful to the fans for not creating any problems for him since his U-turn.
“The fans have been great with me,” he continued. “They can see that I am a player who wants to win things for United and I want to be successful at this club. I have made it very aware that I want that success to be here at Old Trafford. They respect that and they have been no problem whatsoever.”