Wayne Rooney admits 'drinking too much took a toll' and recalls 'knocking out windows' as a teenager

Wayne Rooney admits 'drinking too much took a toll' and recalls 'knocking out windows' as a teenager

WATCH NOW: Sports round-up as Wayne Rooney admits to drinking too much during his playing days

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 21/02/2024

- 12:24

The Manchester United and England legend has candidly discussed his boozing habits

Wayne Rooney has admitted drinking too much 'took a toll' on his playing career, with the Manchester United and England icon revealing he first started enjoying alcohol when he was a teenager.

The 38-year-old enjoyed a successful club career, winning 12 trophies - including five Premier League titles - while strutting his stuff with the Red Devils.

But Rooney also has a wilder side, having enjoyed partying and drinking at the height of his playing days.

The football icon has now shed light on his upbringing while appearing on the Stick to Football podcast.

Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney has opened up on his love of alcohol and how it impacted his playing career


And Rooney says he first started drinking and smoking as a teenager, revealing he would 'knock the windows out' of an abandoned building as he enjoyed himself.

Addressing Jamie Carragher, he said: "You [Jamie Carragher] know where I grew up, it wasn't an easy place to live.

"But, I absolutely loved growing up there, it taught me so many different things.

"I remember when I was 14, I was crossing the road, I think it was a Thursday or something like that, and I was playing for the Under 19s on the Saturday for Everton, Colin Harvey was the manager.

"So, I'm crossing the road, I've got a bag of cider, a packet of cigarettes, and a car stopped to let me cross, and it was Colin Harvey.

"We used to go to an abandoned, empty house and we'd knock the windows through, and we'd sit in there and drink."

Rooney, in his prime, was unstoppable.

Yet he looked a faded force during the twilight years of his career during stints with the likes of Everton and Derby.

And Rooney has admitted he felt the drinking 'took a toll' on his career and that he drank 'way too much' for a professional footballer.

"When you look back, I think - and I spoke about it when I did the documentary - I had different issues, ended up drinking way too much and obviously that took its toll," he admitted.

"You can always look back and think - 'If you didn't do that, would you have played at an even higher level, achieved more, played for longer' - all these questions, again, it's hindsight.'

Rooney is currently out of work, having recently been sacked by Birmingham.

He won just two of his matches in charge of the club, having previously been appointed as John Eustace's replacement in October.

And Rooney has now lashed out at Birmingham fans while also saying the club's owners let him down.

“Birmingham City fans didn’t accept me from day one," he said.


Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney believes drinking cut his career short and says he would enjoy cider and cigarettes as a teenager


“John Eustace had done a good job, to be fair to him, but they made the change and asked me to go in. I went in, but I knew straight away that I wasn’t accepted by the fans.

“I think it was more because John Eustace had done well. They were in sixth place when he got sacked.

"If you’re a Birmingham fan, the last ten years they’ve had, and they are touching the Play-Offs – I know it was early in the season – and then the manager gets sacked.

"They had the situation with [Gianfranco] Zola a couple of years ago, and that comes back into the minds as well.”

He added: “Before I went in, I spoke to the owners about how they wanted the team to play, how I wanted to play, we were all aligned in what we wanted.

Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney says he was devastated after being sacked by Birmingham


"The one thing we all knew is that we needed players in January. That was really my only disappointment, that we got to January, and they didn’t give me the opportunity to get players in – that was a part of the discussions, and we knew that we needed them.

“If you look at all the messaging from myself and the [Birmingham City] owners, it was about a long-term plan.

"Of course, in the short-term, we weren’t getting the results we wanted. "I understand that owners have to make decisions, but to not let me get the players in January, that was disappointing.

"It was a bit of a shock when it [his sacking] happened.”

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