Former Evertonian Wayne Rooney will get a testimonial game tonight featuring his current club Manchester United and his boyhood side the Blues. The game at Old Trafford, between his only two professional clubs, will mark 12 years at United. His Everton career lasted barely two seasons, but the player was born and raised a Toffee.
Rooney has had a tumultuous relationship with Everton fans since his departure for the Red Devils, often coming in for abuse from sections of Goodison Park. However, in the twilight of his career he seems to have smoothed over some of those cracks with an appearance in royal blue last season in Duncan Ferguson’s testimonial, and has been seen with his two sons at an Everton home game as well.
Click here to read the Liverpool Echo’s top ten Wayne Rooney Everton moments.
As for the game itself, it’ll be Jose Mourinho’s first at Old Trafford as manager of United, so expect plenty of spotlight on the Portuguese diva. United have spent heavily over this summer transfer window, so look out for new signings Eric Bailly, Henrik Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. For Everton, new defensive midfielder Idrissa Gueye might also get a run out.
Rooney's testimonial will make history as the first ever game between Premier League teams to be streamed live on social media site Facebook, and will be available to 1.7 billion people worldwide on the Manchester United and Wayne Rooney Facebook pages.
Proceeds from the game will be going to Rooney's four chosen charities, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Claire House Children’s Hospice, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and the Manchester United Foundation. Rooney said:
"I am delighted my testimonial game will be streamed globally, which will hopefully raise awareness and increase donations."
Rooney also spoke of his happiness at Everton being involved -
“I think before the game and at the end I might get a bit emotional.
“But come kick-off it’ll be a normal game and it’ll act as good preparation for me and the other players, as we’ll get more minutes under our belts going into the new campaign.
“I’m grateful to Everton for the time I spent there. I was there from the age of nine to 18 and they helped me to progress to become a senior footballer.
“So I felt it was right to ask Everton and they have been very supportive of the game, so I’d like to thank them as well.”
Everton at Manchester United
Date and time: Wednesday, August 3rd at 8:00 p.m. BST / 3:00 p.m. EST / 12:00 p.m. PST
Stadium: Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England
How to Watch/Listen
Live stream: Manchester United Facebook
Everton starting XI - Stekelenburg, Coleman, Baines, Funes Mori, Stones, Holgate, McCarthy, Barry, Barkley, Deulofeu, Lukaku.
Everton subs - Joel, Oviedo, Galloway, Gibson, Cleverley, Besic, Davies, Kone, Mirallas, Lennon.
United starting XI - De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Shaw, Carrick, Herrera, Lingard, Rooney, Martial, Ibrahimovic.
United subs - Johnstone, Romero, Darmian, Jones, Rojo. Fellaini, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Schneiderlin, Young, Memphis, Rashford