'I can't wait to hear his name sung again' – inside story of Rooney's rise & return

Wayne Rooney signs professional contract at Everton

Wayne Rooney's return to Everton after 13 years lends a certain romance to a record-breaking career. Here, through the eyes of Bob Pendleton - the former Everton scout who discovered him, we learn about the buzz, the tears and die-hard Goodison roots which go hand in hand with Rooney's rise and return.

I first saw Wayne Rooney playing on the Jeffrey Humble pitches on Long Lane, Walton. He was nine, and clearly lived for scoring goals. I didn't think then that this shy young man would become England's greatest goalscorer, but within two years I was absolutely certain it was going to happen.

Rooney's name was a talking point around the dozen or so pitches where Liverpool's Walton and Kirkdale Sunday League was played.

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