Wayne Rooney has revealed how he’s always retained his love for the Blues – including wearing Everton pyjamas for the past 13 years!
The boyhood Evertonian is back at Goodison after rejoining from Manchester United for an undisclosed fee, signing a two-year contract.
England’s all-time leading goalscorer first joined the Toffees as a nine-year-old, rising through the Club’s Academy and breaking into the first team in 2002 aged 16.
The forward signed for Manchester United in the summer of 2004 and went on to help the Red Devils win the Champions League, Europa League, five Premier League titles, one FA Cup, three League Cups and one FIFA Club World Cup.
But despite that glorious chapter, the Croxteth-born 31-year-old admits the Blues have remained close to his heart – and part of his wardrobe!
Asked what it felt like to once again wear the Royal Blue jersey, Rooney told evertontv: “It feels great. To be honest, I’ve kept it quiet for the last 13 years but I’ve actually been wearing Everton pyjamas at home with my kids. I had to keep that a bit quiet!
“It’s great. (Wearing the shirt) feels as special as it did 13 years ago and I’m just looking forward now to getting out on the pitch with it on.”
Rooney is also excited at returning to Goodison, where he announced himself to the world with a stunning 25-yard injury-time winner in Everton’s 2-1 win over Arsenal in October 2002.
With the summer additions of keeper Jordan Pickford, defender Michael Keane – both signing for Club-record fees which could rise to £30million – midfielder Davy Klaassen and forwards Sandro Ramirez and Henry Onyekuru, Rooney is “ready to go” to ensure more memorable times are ahead.
“(Goodison) has always been a special place, even when I’ve been on the opposing team,” said England’s most-capped outfield player with 119 appearances. “You always get that feeling when you walk out of the tunnel so to actually do it again in an Everton shirt will be a special moment for me.
“I firmly believe we have the potential to be a success in the league and there’s the cup competitions. We’re certainly capable of winning one of those cups. You have to take it step by step - it’s a difficult set of fixtures to start the season, so we have to make sure we get a good pre-season so we’re capable of starting well.
“Throughout the summer I’ve been working out where I was going to go. I spoke to my agent and said: ‘Listen, you need to speak to Everton, see if it can happen’. He said it could so I told him to speak to the Club and get it done as quickly as possible. It’s happened, I’m delighted and I’m ready to go.”