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Last Updated:  Sunday, 9 March, 2003, 13:10 GMT
Pub name 'may damage Rooney'
Wayne Rooney
Rooney cannot buy a pint until he turns 18 in October
Concerns have been raised about the naming of a new bar after England and Everton football star Wayne Rooney.

Rooney's agent said the decision by managers of Rooney's Bar might damage the 17-year-old player's image.

Ken Speed, licensee of the bar, admitted the name is in tribute to the player but denied it was an attempt to cash in on his fame.

The bar, which opened on Friday in Westminster Road, is close to Everton's Goodison Park ground.

On Sunday Paul Stretford, Rooney's international agent, said Mr Speed did not approach the player's family or bosses at Everton about his plans.

Mr Stretford said he will fully investigate the case, before making any decisions about how to proceed.

If I changed my name by deed poll to Ken Rooney I don't think he'd have any grounds on [asking me to change the name]
Ken Speed, licensee, Rooney's Bar
Mr Speed confirmed he had been approached by Mr Stretford and said he was told the name association might damage Rooney's image.

"But I want Wayne Rooney to tell me how he feels," Mr Speed told BBC News Online.

"I've called it Rooney's Bar in tribute to him, I can't deny that. He is a working class hero. But I've not done it in terms of profit-making.

"Also, if I had my name changed by deed poll to Ken Rooney tomorrow I don't think he'd have any grounds on [asking me to change the name]."

Rooney, from Croxteth, Liverpool, burst onto the Premiership scene in 2002.

He became the youngest player to play for England when he came on as a substitute against Australia last month.

However, he will not be able to buy a pint in a bar until he celebrates his 18th birthday in October.

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