MANCHESTER United captain Wayne Rooney spoke of his pride after equalling the great Bobby Charlton’s club scoring record on Saturday with his 249th United goal.
Rooney, 31, set United on the way to a 4-0 FA Cup win over Reading in the seventh minute at Old Trafford, steering Juan Mata’s cross past visiting goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi with his right knee.
Former United midfielder Charlton, 79, and former United manager Alex Ferguson were both in attendance and joined fans in applauding Rooney’s feat.
“It’s a proud moment, to do it at a massive club like Manchester United,” Rooney told BT Sport.
“I’m hugely honoured to play for this club. To be up there with Sir Bobby in terms of goals is a huge honour. Hopefully I’ll be up there on my own soon.
“You want to do records in front of our home fans. We’ve got two home games coming up and hopefully I can get the record in one of them.”
Ex-United captain Bryan Robson was one of the first figures from the club to offer his congratulations, writing on Twitter: “Congratulations @WayneRooney for equalling Sir Bobby’s record.” Rooney, who was making his 543rd appearance for the club, broke Charlton’s England scoring record of 49 goals in October 2015 and has now scored 53 times for his country in 119 games.
Charlton’s United appearance record was broken by Ryan Giggs in May 2008. “Bobby Charlton is Bobby Charlton, but to have Wayne as the top scorer in such a big club is great for him,” said United manager Jose Mourinho.
“He’s an amazing guy in the group. We all want him to do it. It’s amazing, but I want one more goal, a very important one, a last-minute goal.”
Rooney joined United from Everton at the age of 18 in 2004, after starring for England at Euro 2004, and scored a Champions League hat-trick against Fenerbahce on his debut.
He has since won five Premier League titles, two League Cups, last season’s FA Cup, the 2007-08 Champions League and the 2008 Club World Cup.
He was voted the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year and the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year in 2010.
Rooney was named United captain by former manager Louis van Gaal in July 2014 and was given the England captaincy by then manager Roy Hodgson a month later.
But he has lost his place in United’s starting XI following Mourinho’s arrival as manager and has had to make do with occasional starts in the cup competitions of late.