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David Healy: I understand Wayne’s world

Published 31/10/2008

I have first hand knowledge of how things that you say or do can be taken completely the wrong way.

As a footballer in the public eye, you are always in the spotlight.

There are few players on the planet who know more about that than Wayne Rooney.

Wayne was back in the headlines last weekend.

Before last Saturday’s game at Everton he had been scoring goals galore for Manchester United.

Not surprisingly, the Evertonians gave him a hostile reception.

I don’t know what they were singing or saying to Rooney, but they got a reaction, with Wayne kissing his United badge.

Players aren’t supposed to make any gestures these days, but sometimes it is very difficult to keep everything on the inside.

I’m not condoning what he did but I can understand it. It was done in the heat of battle when emotions were running high.

It is worth saying that he didn’t point to any Everton fans or have a go at individuals in the crowd, and you could argue that he was acknowledging the support he was receiving from the United supporters when he was getting all the stick from the fans who used to worship him.

After the gesture he was taken off, which I was disappointed with. I’d have liked to have seen him stay on.

I’m sure Wayne wanted that as well because he was desperate to score his 100th goal at Goodison Park. Rooney is a world class player but, apart from all his skill, his passion is a major reason for him being so great to watch.

He has suggested that he would like to stay at Old Trafford for the rest of his career. He is a scouser and grew up with Everton in his blood, but I sense his heart is at United now.

He’ll be relishing next week’s Champions League game with Celtic. United cruised to a win over the Bhoys in Manchester, but Glasgow will be a different prospect as the last meeting between the clubs at Parkhead showed.

The atmosphere will be special and how Celtic would love another victory, though I think, at best this time, they may have to settle for a draw.

Belfast Telegraph

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