Wayne Rooney was crowned Manchester United’s all-time goal scorer at a star-studded event on Sunday night. He broke the record after grabbing a last minute equalizer for the Red Devils against Stoke City last Saturday.
The England international footballer gained recognition from the Football Writers’ Association (FWA) at a special event held on Sunday night strictly for the captain.
Sir Bobby Charlton held this record for many years until last weekend when Rooney smashed it, and set the bars even higher.
Media reports confirm that the 31-year-old celebrated his 250th goal for United at The Savoy Hotel where football’s most established writers gathered to pay their respect.
Surprisingly, the FWA had prepared for this tribute dinner throughout United’s last five games, but the former Everton player never got a chance to score until last Saturday.
A group of former Man U players like Ryan Giggs and David Beckham, including former international teammates Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, were all on ground for the celebrations.
In his acceptance speech, an excited Rooney said: “I would like to thank the football writers for this prestigious award. I was looking at the list of previous award winners and it is an honor for me to be in their company.
“I’d like to say thank you to the managers I have worked with – each one has contributed to me being the player I am – and thank you to my team-mates.
“I’d also like to say a big ‘thank you’ to my family and to Paul Stretford who has played a huge role in my life as a friend and an agent. And I’d like to thank Jose Mourinho for giving me tomorrow off!”
Rooney will go down in history as one the world’s most celebrated footballer.
The father-of-two is England’s highest goalscorer as well as the country’s most capped player.
He spoke with reporters after the achievement last Saturday, saying: “It’s not just today, it’s from the first goal I scored for the club, so it’s built up to this day.
“It’s a proud moment for me and a huge honor to get that record, just a bit dampened by the result. It’s about a career and I still feel there’s a lot more to come, but overall it’s a really proud moment for me.
“I don’t really want to stand here and talk about myself, to be honest, but I think it’s fitting that the player who got the two records off Sir Bobby is a Manchester United player.
Roy Hodgson, a former England international footballer and ex manager of The Three Lions, paid tribute to one of the finest footballers that ever lived.
The 69-year-old who once managed Liverpool was ushered on stage for a brief speech shortly before Rooney took over the microphone.
“When I met Wayne for the first time, I didn’t know quite what to expect but I was really surprised to meet a man who was so keen to play football,” Hodgson said.
“He has a passion and a love for the game that is second to none – he wants to be on the field, come what may. His energy and enthusiasm are two vitally important qualities.
“Off the field, he’s a real family man – family means a lot to him. And he is very generous with his time, he signs every autograph that he’s asked to.”
Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho said after the match: “The achievement is wonderful – it stays in the history of our club I think for many, many, many years for sure. But I think it’s time now for him to enjoy and for everyone to forget it and let it go.”
Rooney told MUTV at The Savoy Hotel how the achievement has affected his life. He admits that words can’t express the feeling as fans and well wishers kept pouring out their emotions.
“I’m humbled to be here and to receive this award. As a football player it’s great to receive awards and to get records like I did yesterday,” he said.
“The reaction to the record has been great and I thank everyone for their messages. For people to send me messages yesterday, mostly across social media but also some private ones, was brilliant and I really appreciate them all.”