Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has announced his retirement from his illustrious playing career, and at the same time, has also confirmed that he would be serving as Derby County manager on a full-time basis. The announcement was made on Derby County Football Club’s official website. Since the announcement of his retirement, tributes for the former England and Manchester United captain have been pouring in on social media.
Derby confirmed Rooney, 35, has agreed to a permanent deal until 2023, having succeeded Phillip Cocu on an interim basis in November.
Accepting the manager’s role, Derby on its website said that the iconic forward had “elected to call time on his illustrious playing career to fully focus on his job”.
Rooney was in charge for nine matches as interim boss at Derby, winning three and drawing four.
“We are delighted to confirm the appointment of Wayne Rooney as our new manager,” stated Derby County chief executive officer Stephen Pearce on Derby’s official website.
“Our recent upturn in results under Wayne was married together with some positive performances.”
In his statement on the website, Rooney said he had been “blown away” by Derby’s potential when he arrived at the club after a spell playing for DC United in the United States.
“To be given the opportunity to follow the likes of Brian Clough, Jim Smith, Frank Lampard, and Phillip Cocu is such an honour,” he said.
“I can promise everyone involved in the club and all our fans, my staff and I will leave no stone unturned in achieving the potential I have witnessed over the last 12 months of this historic football club.”
Rooney made his debut for boyhood club Everton in 2002, and shot to prominence by scoring a sensational goal to beat then-champions Arsenal days before his 17th birthday. After an impressive showing for England at Euro 2004, he was signed by United in a £27 million ($37 million) transfer.
Rooney is the second-highest goalscorer in Premier League history — behind only Alan Shearer — with 208 goals. He moved to Derby in January 2020 as a player-coach, and took caretaker charge when Cocu was sacked.