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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 01:03 GMT
Rooney commits to Everton
Wayne Rooney with David Moyes and Bill Kenwright
Wayne Rooney with David Moyes and Bill Kenwright
Wayne Rooney has signed a new contract with Everton that commits him to the Liverpool club until the end of the 2005-06 season.

The 17-year-old has been a revelation in his first season as a professional since making his first team debut in August.

He scored a stunning goal in October to end Arsenal's 30-match unbeaten run and in the process make himself the youngest scorer to that date in the Barclaycard Premiership at just 16.

His signature on his first professional contract was initially delayed as he changed agent.

WONDERKID WAYNE
Born 24 October, 1985
2001: Scores eight goals as Everton reach FA Youth Cup final.
2002:
Aug 17: Makes his Premiership debut at home to Spurs.
Oct 1: Grabs first senior goals in Worthington Cup win at Wrexham.
Oct 19: Scores first Premiership goal with 25-yard stunner in 2-1 win over Arsenal.
Dec 26: Sent off for the first time during 1-1 draw at Birmingham.
2003:
Banned for four games after red card and five yellow cards.
Jan 17: Signs first professional contract, committing to Everton until 2006.

His interests now being handled by Paul Stretford of the ProActive agency who described the deal as one of the most important to be done during the current transfer window.

"Every deal can be complicated and this one has included image rights we wanted to cover in the deal.

"Now Everton and Wayne Rooney have joint control over the marketing of rights. This is not normal in every deal but it reflects the nature of the player," said Stretford.

"This is a dream come true for me," admitted the teenager as he broke his silence at a Goodison Park press conference.

"I never wanted to go to another club and playing for Everton means a lot to me."

Team-mate Tony Hibbert has also signed a deal to stay at the club until 2006.

"I didn't realise how exceptional the talent was - and also to find another player in Tony who has done extremely well. We're really pleased," said Everton manager David Moyes.

It's a very important day for the club

Everton owner Bill Kenwright

"Give us a bit of time to develop him and England should have a future star in the making - it breaks my heart as a Scotsman to say that, but it's a fact."

Moyes hailed Rooney's "wonderful strength, pace and ability to go past people".

Chairman Bill Kenwright added: "We have secured the signatures of both players, and we're delighted to be able to announce that.

"Over the last couple of years this club has seen several promising youngsters depart, so it's particularly pleasing to announce the signing of what we believe to be two major young talents.

"We hope they will be here for many, many, many years."

"The fact the two players are both Evertonians has been inspirational to everyone at the club. It's a very important day for the club," he said.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Everton striker Wayne Rooney
"It's a dream come true"
Everton manager David Moyes
"He's quiet, but on the field he's a major talent"
The BBC's Adam Parsons
"For Everton supporters, he is the boy king"
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