...By Henry George for TDPel Media.
Wayne Rooney, one of the greatest footballers in Premier League history, has always been known for his larger-than-life personality.
Former Manchester United and England masseuse Rod Thornley recently shared some amusing anecdotes on the Under The Cosh podcast, shedding light on Rooney’s playful nature and his penchant for pranks.
The Nickname ‘Wazza’
The nickname ‘Wazza’ was given to Rooney after his explosive emergence in the early 2000s.
His personality was often compared to that of Paul ‘Gazza’ Gascoigne, another endearingly-chaotic footballer.
Thornley recounts that Rooney was always at the center of the banter, playing pranks on people and causing havoc.
The Airplane Standstill
Thornley revealed that while on a pre-season tour to Australia, someone had nicked Rooney’s suit bottoms.
United’s players had been provided with Paul Smith suits and were expected to wear them as they got on and off the plane for the cameras, but Rooney threw a hissy fit after realizing his trousers had mysteriously gone missing.
The lads had hidden them, causing Rooney to flip out on the plane.
He blocked the walkway, shouting “no one’s getting off this f***ing plane until I get my pants back!” causing a major standstill at the airport.
Rooney and Thornley’s Relationship
Rooney and Thornley grew very close through years of working together for club and country.
Thornley told a funny story about finding out Rooney was joining United when the youngster, who was at Everton at the time, asked him how he should address Sir Alex Ferguson while the two were away with England.
Rooney affectionately nick-named the masseuse ‘fat c***’ during his latter years at United.
These stories shed light on Rooney’s fun-loving, prankster personality and offer an insight into the world of professional football beyond the pitch.