Former Everton striker Wayne Rooney has opened up about an incident that left him ‘gutted’ for Toffees supporters.
The 34-year-old has recalled the time he was playing for Manchester United back in 2007 against his boyhood club in the Premier League.
The game saw Everton take a 2-0 lead, before United hit back to seal a 4-2 win at Goodison Park.
It was Rooney who scored United’s third, and he then inexplicably kissed the badge in front of the Park End before revelling with the away supporters. He then supplied an assist for Chris Eagles to wrap up the game.
The badge-kiss was a move that angered Everton fans, who had once adored the Englishman, and it started a long-running feud.
Rooney, who went on to have another spell with Everton later on his career, has now admitted he instantly regretted the decision.
He told Gary Neville on Sky’s Soccerbox (quoted by Liverpool Echo): “Yeah it was just a pure reaction to the Everton fans I was gutted after the game when I done it, but it was sure a big moment.
“Chelsea had played Bolton away and drew 2-2, so this had almost won us the league.”
TBR’s view – Everton fans won’t forget
Rooney has obviously since played for Everton again and it’s fair to say his perception is much better with the fans now.
But that incident is sure to remain a blemish for some.
Perhaps some will be able to understand that Rooney was young and it was clearly a very big moment and he got caught up in the emotion of everything.
While most will have forgiven him, few will ever forget.