Sir Bobby Charlton will present Wayne Rooney with a Golden Boot ahead of the Estonia game next month after the striker became England’s all-time top goalscorer.
When Charlton called an end to his international career on the back of the 1970 World Cup Finals, he did so with a record 49 goals to his name. This tally stood as the highest any England player has ever recorded until Tuesday evening when Rooney, who equalled this number in the win over San Marino on Saturday, scored the second in a 2-0 win over Switzerland at Wembley.
It was always likely that the Manchester United forward would surpass the record of the Old Trafford legend, who will also probably see his club tally bettered by the former Everton youngster in the not too distant future. Rooney was presented with a commemorative No 50 shirt to mark his feat, and Charlton will present him with a Golden Boot before the Estonia match next month.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Rooney of his record after the match. “I’ve been close for the last few games and to have now achieved it is a dream come true. I was bit emotional when the goal went in: it’s a huge honour and one I am extremely proud of. I knew it was a big moment with the penalty so I just picked my corner and put my boot through it to get as much power as possible.
“The goalkeeper has got a touch but, thankfully, it had too much power. To be the record goalscorer before the age of 30 is nothing I could ever have imagined. I went through a spell around 2009-10 when I didn’t score for a year for England, but since Roy Hodgson’s come in I’ve scored a lot of goals. I’m grateful to Roy for letting me play with the freedom that I enjoy.”
Charlton, who won the World Cup with England in 1966, admitted he was disappointed to lose a record which has stood for 45 years. But at the same time the 77-year-old was delighted that he lost it to Rooney, who third place in the all-time top goalscorers for United – four behind former Scotland great Denis Law and just 16 behind the leading marksman who has 249.
“I obviously cannot deny that I am disappointed that I now don’t hold this record,” said Charlton of his long-standing England record. “However, I am absolutely delighted that it is Wayne, as captain of my beloved club and country, who now holds this record. On behalf of myself and everyone at Manchester United I would like to say congratulations Wayne. It is a record that I am sure you will hold for a long time, and it is clear to see that you will go on scoring for your club and country for a long time to come.”