As of today England striker Wayne Rooney is officially old enough to vote and to
As of today England striker Wayne Rooney is officially old enough to vote and to celebrate, TheFA.com is here to remind you of 18 moments that have made the youngster one of world football's most sought-after commodities...
1. When Wayne was born on 24th October 1985, Everton had just enjoyed their most successful season ever, winning the First Division championship and the Cup Winners' Cup and only being denied the Treble when Manchester United beat them 1-0 in the FA Cup final.
2. In 2001, he scored eight goals as the Toffees reached the FA Youth Cup final.
3. He made his full Premiership debut for Everton at Goodison Park on 17th August 2002 against Tottenham Hotspur.
4. Scored his first senior goals for the Merseysiders in a Worthington Cup tie against Wrexham on 1st October 2002.
5. His first-ever league goal was a last-minute, 25-yard strike to beat champions Arsenal 2-1 at Goodison Park on 19th October 2002, a goal that not only made him the youngest-ever Premiership scorer at 16, but also ended the Gunners' 30-match unbeaten run.
6. However, on 26th December 2002 he then became the youngest-ever player to be sent off in the Premiership when he saw red against Birmingham City.
7. On 17th January 2003, the striker signed his first professional contract with Everton until 2006.
8. Became the youngest-ever England international at 17 years and 111 days when he replaced Michael Owen at half-time at Upton Park on 12th February 2003 in a friendly with Australia; the previous record of 17 years and 253 days had been set by James Prinsep in 1879.
9. Signed a new and improved contract with Everton in February 2003 that earns him £13,000-a-week until 2006.
10. Briefly had a pub named after him in Liverpool, until his agent at SFX intervened that is.
11. Man-of-the-match in his first competitive start for England against Turkey in a Euro 2004 qualifier at the Stadium of Light on 2nd April 2003.
12. In his first-ever interview on the official Everton website in May 2003, he revealed that the person he is most scared of is his dinner-lady mother Jeanette, that Sol Campbell is the toughest opponent he has faced in top-flight football and that his ideal strike partner for England would be Alan Shearer.
13. Chosen by England coach Sven-Göran Eriksson at the end of last season as his 2002/03 England Young Player of the Year.
14. Bought two racehorses, although was later refused permission by the Jockey Club to call them 'Hoof Hearted' and 'Norfolk Enchants' because the names sounded rude when read quickly by television and radio commentators.
15. "I don't read the papers, I just look at the pictures," he told the Evertonian magazine in June 2003.
16. Passed his driving test at the third time of asking in August 2003 and immediately bought a Ford Sportka for £9,995, less than a week's wages for the youngster, with the number plate: R00 NI.
17. Broke Michael Owen's record to become the youngest-ever scorer for the Three Lions when he registered his first England goal aged 17 years and 317 days in a Euro 2004 qualifier in F.Y.R. Macedonia on 6th September 2003.
18. In 41 Premiership matches for Everton to date, he has scored seven goals, received ten yellow cards, including five already this season, as well as one red card.
by Richard Morgan
England caps (click for match report): v Australia, (lost 1-3) Liechtenstein (won 2-0), Turkey (won 2-0), Serbia and Montenegro (won 2-1), Slovakia (won 2-1), Macedonia (won 2-1), Liechtenstein (won 2-0), Turkey (drew 0-0)
England U19: 1 cap, 0 goals
England U17: 12 caps, 7 goals
England U15: 4 caps, 2 goals