He’s done it! Wayne Rooney has surpassed Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton to become the club’s leading goalscorer of all time.
The United captain reached his remarkable tally of 250 strikes when he netted a stunning late equaliser against Stoke City in Saturday’s 1-1 draw.
Sir Bobby Charlton told ManUtd.com: “It’s over 40 years since I scored the last of my 249 goals for Manchester United, so I must admit that I have become used to the honour of being the club’s all-time top goalscorer!
“We have had some incredible strikers here at Old Trafford and they have scored a lot of goals, but it has been fairly obvious for a while now that Wayne Rooney was going to be the one likeliest to break my record, and now that day has come, I would be lying to say that I’m not disappointed to have lost the record. However, I can honestly say that I’m delighted for Wayne. He deserves his place in the history books.
“He is a true great for club and country, and it is fitting that he is now the highest goalscorer for both United and England. It has been great to watch him every week since his arrival at Old Trafford in 2004; he set the tone with a wonderful hat-trick on his debut and he has thrilled us all in the years since, going on to enjoy a hugely successful career.
“I was 35 when I retired. Wayne is only 31 and still going strong, so I don’t think he’s done by a long stretch yet. He continues to show that he can contribute goals, assists and performances whenever called upon, he will raise the bar even further before he calls it a day. Now he’s the man to beat, and I can’t see anybody doing that for a long, long time.”
Rooney the record-breaker was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson at the age of 18 after rising to stardom at Everton and has been a consistent contributor to the Reds’ scoresheet since netting a hat-trick on his debut, in the 6-2 Champions League victory over Fenerbahce on 28 September 2004.
Sir Alex told ManUtd.com: “I would like to say huge congratulations to Wayne on reaching this milestone. It is no mean feat to score so many goals and he breaks a record that has stood for over 40 years. Wayne thoroughly deserves his place in the history books of this great club and I am sure that he will go on to score many more goals. Well done Wayne, I am absolutely delighted for you, you have been a great servant to this club and long may it continue.”
Rooney, now aged 31, equalled Sir Bobby’s long-standing record of 249 United goals when he opened the scoring against Reading in the FA Cup third round earlier this month.
The stage seemed to have been set when Rooney started against Hull City in the EFL Cup and came on at half-time against Liverpool last weekend but, although it wasn’t to be against our arch-rivals, he has now achieved the feat to write his name in the club’s history for years to come.