Wayne will join England greats who have won 100 caps when he leads the national team out for their Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia on Saturday.
To mark becoming just England’s ninth centurion, the skipper followed in the footsteps of his illustrious predecessors Bobby Moore and Steven Gerrard by returning to his primary school to celebrate the milestone among excited youngsters back where he started kicking a ball around.
The result of a day to remember at Our Lady and St Swithin’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Croxteth was a fabulous set of pictures and an iconic video of Wayne plus 99 excited young pupils, all wearing England shirts. Wayne attended the school until the age of 11.
For the pictures Wayne himself wore one of his treasured England caps and took time out to sign the England shirt worn by every pupil – which the youngsters will keep as their own treasured memento of the day the England skipper returned to his former school.
Wayne said: “Becoming captain of England was a dream come true for me. It’s an amazing feeling to come back here, where I went to school as a young boy, and being able to tell youngsters that dreams really can come true. I’m very proud of where I’m from and it’s always good to come back here.”
Head teacher Sandra Hamilton said: “’Wayne’s been an absolute superstar coming back to share his honour among youngsters growing up in the same area as he did. He’s given all his time to the children, signed all their shirts and had his picture taken. It’s almost like he’s never been away!” She added: “Wayne gives the children self-belief and he has got every value that we value. He is mature and resilient; a leader. He is world-class. We look at him as a wonderful family man and are extremely proud of everything that he does.”
Wayne has never forgotten his old school, sending regular personalised mementos of his amazing career including signed balls and an England shirt. When he arrived at the school to meet the children and do the pictures, he was greeted by the Head and passed the cabinet in which his signed gifts are displayed before being introduced by Mrs Hamilton to cheering youngsters.
Wayne has enjoyed many great days winning his 99 England caps, plus five Premier League winners’ medals and playing in three Champions League Finals. But his return to the Primary school where he used to practice his skills in the school yard along with fellow pupils 20 years ago clearly made a huge impression on him – as well as on 99 thrilled pupils.
As he looked around his old stomping ground, Wayne reflected: “I remember being up on that stage in the school choir. I had a solo part in a play one year and I didn’t fancy it (singing) again! The memories do come back, obviously. There have been one or two changes but it is still as much as I remember it. When you are here as a kid, you think it is absolutely massive, the building and everything. I used to think the schoolyard was as big as three football pitches. So it was special to come back, of course it was. It was a great day.’
The schoolchildren and all Wayne’s legions of England and Manchester United fans will be hoping that the skipper has many more – starting with a win when he leads England out for his 100th cap on Saturday.
Copyright 2014 Stoneygate 48 Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.officialwaynerooney.com as the source.