Amongst the sound of fax machines going mad and dodgy agents blabbering on the phone, the transfer window slams shut today. Big deals are always in the offing and today in 2004 was no different, as a certain English starlet became one of the most hated men in Merseyside.
The boy-wonder Wayne Rooney, who had once whipped off his Everton shirt to unveil a t-shirt that declared he was ‘Once a Blue, Always a Blue’, today in 2004 became a Red, as he signed for Manchester United for £30m and became a hate figure for the whole of Merseyside.
Two months earlier, an 18-year old Rooney had exploded onto the international scene with a string of scintillating performance at Euro 2004. This alerted a number of clubs around Europe, with Manchester United and Newcastle leading the pack. But like Coleen in her favourite shoe shop, it was the Red Devil’s who splashed the cash, making Rooney the second most expensive English player after his new team-mate Rio Ferdinand.
The transfer was conducted despite Rooney carrying one of those pesky broken metatarsals that he picked up during England’s defeat to Portugal, meaning he was unable to make his debut until September 28. When debut-day came though, Rooney scored as quickly as he did in those all those tabloid rumours, bagging a hat-trick as United romped home 6-2 against FenerbahÃ§e in the Champions League.
Since then Rooney has gone on to pick up his first domestic honours in the shape of a League Cup win and Premiership title for United, but much to the delight of both the red and blue sides of Merseyside has developed a habit of breaking bones in his feet in the process.
See Rooney bursting onto the scene, complete with some typically hyper-active Clive Tyldesley commentary and come back tomorrow to find out what footballing addiction will literally ruin your life if you let it.