Rooney now Man United's record scorer with 250 goals
MANCHESTER, England (AP):
It was a moment of drama and pride for Wayne Rooney but one tinged with disappointment for Bobby Charlton.
Rooney overhauled Charlton yesterday to become Manchester United's record scorer, coming off the bench to net his landmark 250th goal in stoppage time at Stoke to clinch a 1-1 draw in the Premier League.
"(Charlton) came and congratulated me in the dressing room so I know he's pleased in some way," said Rooney, who has won the Champions League and five Premier League titles with United.
"I'm a team player, but records are important. When you finish your career you can look back on it and it's something to tell your kids."
Last January, Rooney moved past Denis Law to become United's second-highest scorer on 239 and, now playing as a deep-lying attacker or in midfield, began the slow crawl to surpass the tally of club great Charlton - who was among fans watching the game against Stoke - that had stood since 1973.
The 31-year-old Rooney, no longer assured of a starting spot in his 13th season at United, moved level with Charlton on January 7 and needed two more weeks to take the record outright.
Rooney has scored 250 goals in 546 games. Charlton scored 249 in 758 matches.
"I have become used to the honour of being the club's all-time top goalscorer," Charlton said. "We have had some incredible strikers here at Old Trafford and they have scored a lot of goals, but it has been fairly obvious for a while now that Wayne Rooney was going to be the one likeliest to break my record.
"And now that day has come, I would be lying to say that I'm not disappointed to have lost the record. However, I can honestly say that I'm delighted for Wayne. He deserves his place in the history books."
Having already broken Charlton's 49-goal England scoring record in 2015, Rooney has now completed possibly the final major feat of his illustrious - if turbulent - career.
Setting the United goal record confirms Rooney as a modern-day great in English football, if not maybe the world game.
Some will say he hasn't quite reached the heights expected of him after bursting on to the international scene with such brio at the 2004 European Championship, or that he hasn't kicked on from when he was arguably at the top of his game with United in the 2009-10 season.
In that season, Rooney was at a level comparable to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. But his career has tailed off somewhat - save for certain standout periods - while Messi and Ronaldo have gone from strength to strength, competing on an annual basis for FIFA's Player of the Year award.
Yesterday's results: Liverpool 2 Swansea 3; Bournemouth 2 Watford 2; Crystal Palace 0 Everton 1; Middlesbrough 1 West Ham 3; Stoke City 1 Manchester United 1; West Brom 2 Sunderland 0; Manchester City 2 Tottenham 2.