Wayne returned to Everton Football Club in July 2017, 13 years after he had swapped Goodison Park for Old Trafford. Having left for Manchester United as a teenager, he rejoined the Blues at the age of 31 as a five-time Premier League winner, signing a two-year contract at Goodison Park.
It was with the Toffees where he burst on to the scene, progressing from schoolboy to superstar in less than 12 months. The Croxteth-born forward weighed in with eight goals in as many games during the Blues’ FA Youth Cup run in 2002 – an achievement which earned a first-team chance at the start of the following season. He made his Everton debut on the opening day of the 2002/03 campaign against Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park, and then became Everton’s youngest-ever goalscorer when he netted against Wrexham in the Worthington Cup. Wayne’s first Premier League strike will never be forgotten – a dipping 25-yard shot, an injury-time winner, against Arsenal at Goodison on 19 October 2002, five days before his 17th birthday. He scored the only goal in a 1-0 away win over Leeds United a fortnight after his famous winner against the Gunners, and in January 2003 he was awarded his first professional contract with the Toffees. Wayne was then made the youngest-ever England international in February 2003 when he came on as a substitute against Australia at Upton Park. In September of that year, aged 17 years and 317 days, he became the youngest player to score for the Three Lions, equalising in a 2–1 away victory over Macedonia in a Euro 2004 qualifier.
In August 2004, Manchester United paid £30 million – a world-record fee for a teenager – to acquire his services. Across his two full seasons with Everton, Rooney departed having scored 17 goals in all competitions from 77 appearances. Rooney marked his debut with a sensational hat-trick on his debut in a Champions League clash with Fenerbahce. They were to prove the first three of 253 goals he scored for the club, becoming their all-time leading goalscorer in the process. During his time at Manchester United, Wayne won the Champions League, Europa League, five Premier League titles, one FA Cup, three League Cups and one FIFA Club World Cup.
Wayne returned to Everton Football Club in July 2017 and finished the 2017/18 season as the club’s top goalscorer with 11 goals in all competitions.