Wayne Rooney’s record: By the numbers
The striker opened the scoring as United eased past a poor Reading in the FA Cup
Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring Manchester United’s first goal against Reading in the FA Cup third round. Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
The 31-year-old scored in the seventh minute of his 543rd United appearance to move alongside Charlton having played 215 fewer games than the England great.
Rooney, who joined United from Everton in 2004 and scored a Champions League hat-trick on his debut against Fenerbahce, turned home a fortuitous volley from Juan Mata’s cross after Anthony Martial had burst into the box.
Two seasons ago, England skipper Rooney also surpassed Charlton as his country’s all-time top scorer in the Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland.
After missing three games with a thigh injury, Rooney was recalled to the starting line-up for the third-round contest with the Royals and started brightly, flicking on for Marcus Rashford to fire wide inside the first minute.
Moments later he had the chance to equal Charlton’s record when he brought down Marcos Rojo’s long pass but Reading goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi denied him.
However, history would not have to wait much longer as Rooney found the net in the seventh minute.
From the left, Martial knocked the ball past Wales international Chris Gunter and found Mata inside, with his clip across being converted by Rooney, who managed to beat Al Habsi despite not getting a clean contact on his attempt.
The United skipper greeted the landmark with a small fist pump while the PA announcer mentioned his landmark strike while reading out the scorer’s name to the crowd.
Both Charlton and Alex Ferguson, the manager who brought Rooney to Old Trafford 13 years earlier, were seen smiling amongst the spectators after the strike.
Speaking about the goal at half-time on BT Sport, former United midfielder Paul Scholes said: “Yes, it is a great achievement. It’s been a long time in coming.
“It’s great for him, we are so happy for him and hopefully he can go on and break the record. What a career, what a signing and his longevity as well. He’s still got the hunger and dee to score goals and win trophies for this football club.”
On the goal, he added: “Any player, even me, doesn’t care where it (the goal) comes as long as it hits the back of the net — it still means the same thing.”
Former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson was among those to salute Rooney on social media.
Robson, a three-time FA Cup winner with the club, wrote on Twitter: “Congratulations WayneRooney for equalling Bobby’s record ðŸ‘?”
Phil Neville, a former team-mate of Rooney’s who played in his debut appearance against Fener in September 2004, said on his official Twitter account: “249 goals well done WayneRooney.”
ROONEY’S MANCHESTER UNITED GOALS
Season by season
2004-05 — 17 (Premier League 11, FA Cup 3, Champions League 3)
2005-06 — 19 (PL 16, League Cup 2, CL 1)
2006-07 — 23 (PL 14, FA 5, CL 4)
2007-08 — 18 (PL 12, FA 2, CL 4)
2008-09 — 20 (PL 12, FA 1, CL 4, Club World Cup 3)
2009-10 — 34 (PL 26, LC 2, CL 5, Community Shield 1)
2010-11 — 16 (PL 11, FA 1, CL 4)
2011-12 — 34 (PL 27, FA 2, CL 2, Europa League 3)
2012-13 — 16 (PL 12, FA 3, CL 1)
2013-14 — 19 (PL 17, CL 2)
2014-15 — 14 (PL 12, FA 2)
2015-16 — 15 (PL 8, FA 2, LC 1, CL 4)
2016-17 — 4 (PL 1, FA 1, EL 2)
Premier League — 179
FA Cup — 22
League Cup — 5
Champions League — 34
Europa League — 5
Club World Cup — 3
Community Shield — 1
ROONEY BY NUMBERS
249 — The record-equalling goals scored for Manchester United
72 — Number of goals scored in one season for Liverpool Boys when he was 11 years old
25 — Yard strike announced Rooney’s arrival in style aged 16, having come off the bench against Arsenal in October 2002
17 years and 111 days — When making his first England appearance against Australia in February 2003, making him the second youngest debutant ever
#30,000,000 — The then world-record fee for a teenager United spent to sign Rooney from boyhood club Everton
3 — Goals Rooney scored on an explosive United debut against Fenerbahce in September 2004
17 — Goals scored in 43 appearances during his first season at United, leading him to being named 2005 PFA Young Player of the Year — an award he won again the following season
5 — Premier League titles won during his time at Old Trafford
27 — The most league goals scored in a campaign during his time at United in the 2011/12 season
1 — Champions League triumph after overcoming Chelsea on penalties in 2008
53 — International goals makes him the top-scoring England player of all-time
119 — Caps put him second only to Peter Shilton terms of appearances for England.