The striker was a staunch Blue as a youngster and came through the Goodison Park youth ranks.
He swiftly rose to stardom after making his debut at the age of 16. But after just two years in the Everton first team, Rooney was sold to Manchester United in the summer of 2004 for a fee of £27 million. He’d go on to have a highly fruitful career at Old Trafford as he won five Premier League titles, the Champions League, the FA Cup, three League Cups and the Europa League.
The switch to United didn’t go down well with Evertonians at the time, though, and Rooney faced severe backlash for the move as an 18-year-old. Certainly for the next few seasons, Rooney received heated flak whenever he returned to Goodison.
In a clash in April 2007, Rooney infamously kissed the United badge in front of the Park End after scoring the winning goal in a 4-2 victory. Everton had been two goals ahead.
Unsurprisingly, supporters were incensed with his actions - and Rooney knows he shouldn’t have done it.
What’s been said
Speaking to Toffee TV, he said:” I very rarely played well when I came back. I used to get wound up by the fans, I didn’t like it.
“That was, again, a reaction. When Everton were 2-0 up, they (the fans) were on me. It was just a reaction. I love Everton - Everton will always be my club. It’s who I follow and my kids follow. I remember after it thinking: ‘Why have I done that?’
Yeah [I regret doing it]. It just happens. You don’t even know it’s happening and then it happens and you think: ‘Oh no, why have I done that?’
“ Again, it’s an emotion coming out and that seemed to happen a lot when I was younger. I’d do things out of emotion, it’s almost like your mind goes blank for a few seconds and it happens.”
Rooney returned to Everton from United in the summer of 2017 before leaving for MLS side DC United a year later.