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  Thursday, 24 October, 2002, 09:08 GMT 10:08 UK
Happy birthday to Roon

What a difference a goal makes.

This time last week, only a handful of people outside Everton would have known Wayne Rooney's 17th birthday fell on 24 October.

Then came the wonder strike against Arsenal, and suddenly every photographer worth his salt is vying for a snap of the boy wonder on his special day.

So how will the kid dubbed 'Roonaldo' by the red tops choose to celebrate?

Not in the pub, that's for sure. If there's one downside to being young and famous, it's that all the people you didn't want to know your age now do.

  Wayne's World
Youngest scorer in Premiership history
Lives with mum and dad
Mum Jeanette dinner lady at his old school
Lifelong Everton fan
The Power of Love - Jennifer Rush - No 1 on day he was born

The same goes for the offy. There's not a licensed victualler in town who'd sell to Rooney - and that spells bad news for others craving teenage kicks.

If a lad who looks 21 can't get served, you might as well get yourself acquainted with the taste of shandy bass, kids.

Everton boss David Moyes insists he wants his child prodigy to act like any other teenager. You sure about that, Dave?

A quick straw poll around the office suggested your average 17-year-old celebrating their birthday would be:

  • Drunk.

  • Sick.

  • Arrested.

  • Covered in love bites.

    To be fair, the boy seems to have got his head screwed on and will probably be playing football with his mates against the wall.

    (No honestly, he really does still play football with his mates against the wall.)

    As far as presents go, expect a new BMX to be at top of the list, so young Wayne can be the envy of his team-mates when he pulls up in the Goodison car park.

    Ferraris? Mercs? They're so last week - and besides, they look daft with L-plates.

    BMX biker
    Morning lads, I'll be down in 10

    If he's really lucky, Rooney will receive a replica shirt with his name on the back.

    Guaranteed to impress your mates, before they devour your football pitch birthday cake.

    Finally there's the small matter of a 10,000 a week contract to replace the current 80 deal.

    But just in case there's any danger of his feet leaving the ground, there's one birthday gift that will bring him crashing straight back down to earth.

    Yes, it's the obligatory hand-knitted sweater from grandma that will be worn on Christmas day whether you're Kevin the teenager or Wayne the goal machine.

    It's so unfair.

  • See also:

    21 Oct 02 | Everton
    22 Oct 02 | Funny Old Game
    21 Oct 02 | Everton
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