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Joe Strange - Rooney allegations are no surprise

Published: 06 Sep 2010 - 09:30:01

Sunday 20 October 2002 and a 16-year-old Wayne Rooney has just announced himself to the football world in the most dramatic of fashions.

A stunning last-gasp goal to give Everton a 2-1 win over an Arsenal side unbeaten in 30 games was enough to do it, prompting commentator Clive Tyldesley to exclaim: "Remember the name, Wayne Rooney!"

- Rooney tells Coleen: I slept with prostitutes while you were pregnant / Coleen ponders divorce

Fast-forward to Sunday 5 September 2010 and Rooney is the name on everyone's lips yet again, but this time for far less wholesome reasons.

Less than 48 hours taking part in England's 4-0 hammering of Bulgaria, Wayne made the unwanted jump from the back pages to the front, as revelations about his private life were plastered all over The News of the World.

Ever since Fabio Capello's men crashed out of the World Cup, rumours of super-injunctions taken out by players to stop their sordid secrets becoming public have been rife.

Just when stories about Steven Gerrard finally started to settle down, his international team-mate Peter Crouch was exposed as a cheat. Now Wayne has joined England's unfaithful contingent, joining tabloid favourites John Terry and Ashley Cole.

In 2004 it was revealed that Wayne had visited prostitutes while engaged to childhood sweetheart Coleen McLoughlin. The future Mrs Rooney decided to forgive him, despite widespread reports she had called time on their relationship.

Wazza made reference to the incident in his 2006 autobiography, saying that visiting brothels was what 16-year-old lads "do for laughs".

While everyone is entitled to make mistakes in life, Rooney's latest transgressions are sure to have a far more significant effect on his career and personal life than what he got up to in that Liverpool brothel in 2003.

Rooney isn't a boy anymore, he's a 24-year-old father and husband. While questions over his temperament on the pitch have become less frequent, his behaviour off it continues to come under scrutiny.

He supposedly ran up gambling debts of more than £700,000 and has been caught smoking and urinating in public after a drunken night out in Manchester.

He seemed to have settled down after tying the knot with Coleen in 2008 and having his first child in November of last year, but the troublesome, reckless Rooney of years gone by continues to bubble underneath the surface.

His mega-wages and privileged lifestyle are sure to have played a major part in his development as a human being. He obviously feels like being paid upwards of £100,000 a week gives him a divine right to do what he wants, when he wants.

It's a problem which fellow cheats like Terry, Cole and Crouch all seem to suffer from. As footballers with money, power and celebrity pulling power, they give little thought to how they act or who they hurt in the process.

Wayne now begins the long, hard process of rebuilding his tarnished reputation - something that he may never be able to achieve no matter what he does in the future.

He can only hope that in 50 years people remember his name for all the right reasons, and not for what he did while he wasn't on the football pitch.

DSG


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FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:joe strange
A product of Brighton University's prolific youth system, Joe Strange has boundless energy and the enviable ability to cover every blade of grass in his Monday blog. Joe has written for a variety of football websites and fanzines and is also a regular contributor to golf.co.uk. Despite being born and raised in Kent, 'Stranger' is a diehard Everton fan and counts his team's penalty shoot-out victory against Manchester United last season as his most memorable football moment. Follow Joe on Twitter @joe_strange.

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