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5 players who returned to their boyhood clubs

Scott Newman
SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
04 Dec 2019, 23:52 IST

Wayne Rooney made an emotional return to Everton in 2017
Wayne Rooney made an emotional return to Everton in 2017

Football is a big business these days and while most players get into the sport purely for the love of the game, as a fan it’s very easy to become cynical when big-name stars move around from club to club for huge transfer fees, seemingly showing little loyalty in the process.

Sometimes though, football is a more romantic sport than people give it credit for, and while there are definitely plenty of mercenary players out there, others remain loyal to the same club throughout their careers – while others might return to their old stomping grounds, often when their time in the game is coming to an end.

Here are 5 superstars who made a triumphant return to their boyhood clubs.

1. Wayne Rooney

Rooney was just 16 when he emerged at Everton in 2002
Rooney was just 16 when he emerged at Everton in 2002

When he broke through as a 16-year old at Everton, Wayne Rooney famously celebrated an early career goal by showing off a t-shirt that read “once a Blue, always a Blue”. That earned him to scorn when he moved to Manchester United just months before his 19th birthday, but after he’d won countless trophies – including 5 Premier Leagues and one Champions League – at Old Trafford, and had become the Red Devils’ highest ever goalscorer, Rooney proved that the famous statement was actually true.

Despite being just 32 years old and coming off a season that saw him help United to victories in the Europa League and EFL Cup, Rooney was allowed to leave the club on a free transfer in the summer of 2017, and he headed directly back to Goodison Park, where he’d made his name more than a decade beforehand.

Rooney only lasted one season back at his boyhood club, but he did show flashes of the old greatness; a hat-trick against West Ham was particularly memorable and he scored 10 Premier League goals for the Toffees, too. The former England captain moved on to the USA with DC United in the summer of 2018, but thanks to his return to Everton, he was once again a hero in the eyes of their fans.

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