Farewell to a Legend

It’s been rumoured for quite some time now, but it’s finally happened. Wayne Rooney has made the move back to his beloved Everton, and departs Old Trafford as an undoubted United legend.

We’re sure you’ll read a lot of articles over the coming days and weeks paying tribute to our outgoing captain, but we wanted to share the opinions from a selection of the writers here at ManUnited.uk to say our own farewell to a club legend.

Chris Samson

I prefer to think more about the Rooney of his earlier years at United, rather than the last few, which I think will be the attitude of most United fans. His rampaging attitude, flying around the pitch. Just as capable of winning the ball back at left back than he was finishing off a fast-flowing counter attack. For every threat of him wanting to leave, there were more moments of brilliance. His acrobatics against City, the thumping volley against Newcastle that somehow looked effortless or his commanding performance in the 8-2 against Arsenal.

John McNicoll

In regards to debuts, I don’t think you can have many better than Wayne Rooney’s. A hat-trick in the Champions League group game at home to Fenerbache. His goals lit up Old Trafford for many years. He absolutely loved scoring against Arsenal. Rooney would always play better with a bit of fire in his belly. I honestly believe that the captaincy dulled down his temper and ultimately dampened his enthusiasm. He became a role model but lost what he was good at, a street footballer with a bit of fight. Critics say he never did it in the big games, goals in a Champions League and League Cup final says otherwise. Wayne Rooney broke Sir Bobby’s record and should always be remembered as a star at United. Other clubs have built statues or named stands after players for a lot less. Thanks for the memories Wayne #253.

Nav Arora

What a player Wazza has been for United over the years. Our greatest goalscorer ever in one of our most successful periods in English football. Rooney and Ronaldo – the duo that made me fall in love with football and Manchester United, have both left United, but their legacy will go on forever. I’ll never forget THAT overhead kick vs City – one of the best goals I’ve ever seen! Here’s wishing Wayne the best of luck at Everton, and I would love to see him score against us – as long as we don’t lose, that is!

Vivek Menon

Growing up as a United fan, Rooney was the player I idolised. All my United shirts have the legend’s name on the back. Scoring over 250 goals for a team like United is not easy. Wazza’s place in United history books and folklore is secure. I won’t deny that his dip in form over the last few seasons has been sad and at times painful to watch, but history will see him as a top 3 all-time United player, right up there with Charlton, Giggs and Best. A true leader on and off the pitch, he will be sorely missed by the team. It is an emotional time to see my all-time favourite United player leave the club. All the best, Wayne!

Andy Warrant

I was at Old Trafford the night the rumours broke that we were in for Rooney. I will never forget the buzz that went round the stadium, it proved how big a player he was at that time. Always felt he was unfairly bracketed as world-class almost by default, then compared to Messi and Ronaldo. A great player for United and England and I will always remember that goal vs City. He is a legend.

Simon Bolger

After 13 years of record breaking exploits, personal achievements and an enviable hoard of trophies, Wayne Rooney leaves Manchester United under subdued circumstances. For all his achievements, many see Rooney as a player who never fulfilled his promise and potential. The moment he wrapped his right boot around an unstoppable swerving shot past David Seaman he had to live with the expectation of becoming the world’s best player. Together with Cristiano Ronaldo, he produced some of the most electrifying football England has ever seen. However, many hold him in contempt for never being able to reach the same dizzying heights as his former teammate.

For all his off and sometimes on-field controversy, Rooney is an undoubtedly fantastic footballer. When the dust settles on his career, history will recall the £27 million spent by Sir Alex Ferguson as money well spent for a player who was the best of his generation in England, a remarkable goal scorer and leader, and one of Manchester United’s finest servants.

Matt Gunn says thanks, but his overall opinion isn’t as positive as his fellow writers.

Don’t get me wrong, Rooney has put his heart and soul into this club, but time has moved on. He’s been a passenger for far too long, he fed off a team that was built around him and Ronaldo but was never the prolific goalscorer his stats have made him out to be. United need to build a new team and let go of any sentiment towards a player who has taken playing time off youngsters for the sake of his own goal scoring records. Thank you Wayne, and I wish you all the best at Everton, but Manchester United is bigger than one player. He should have gone three seasons ago.

Along similar lines, site editor, Chris Darwen, had this sentiment to share.

Once a Blue, always a Blue unless a much bigger club with the ability to actually win things comes calling. Rooney has gone from a hat-trick on debut to winning everything that can be won as a club player. Sadly, his latter years have represented an early audition for the statue they will no doubt one day build and a hairline that is more mobile than the “legend” who was very keen to move away from the club at least once unless they bunged him some more money.

Whether you loved him or hated him. Respected or derided him. I believe Wayne Rooney will go down in Manchester United history as one of our greatest ever goalscorers, and greatest ever players.